From Publishers Weekly
Gaskell's sprightly debut tackles one of the great chick-lit dilemmas-how to turn 30 in style. For "consummate Good Girl" Ellie Winters, a snappy but unlikely D.C. litigation attorney, it means breaking up with her staid boyfriend, getting highlights, tossing aside The Rules and diving headfirst into a May-December romance with sexy Ted Langston, a cable TV news big shot. Their first meeting is comically, familiarly inauspicious: his mutt begins "humping at" her pug outside the all-night drugstore where Ellie has gone to buy hair bleach to fix her initial hair-coloring disaster. Upon a later chance encounter at a fund-raiser, though, Cupid's arrow hits its mark. Problems quickly arise on their first date, when Ted puts Ellie's age at 38 or 39, sending her self-esteem into a tailspin and her credit card to the Clarins counter ("The next time he saw me I'd have skin like a baby's bottom, and he'd be full of jealousy... in comparison, he was just a shriveled old geezer"). Meanwhile, Ted decides their 23-year age difference might be insurmountable. After another serendipitous meeting, the flame is rekindled-and then snuffed again. For all the on-again, off-again nature of their affections, readers will see the happy ending coming from miles away. But Gaskell's breezy prose, sharp wit and skillful interweaving of Ellie's struggles-with her boring job, with Ted's nasty ex-wife-keep a fluffily familiar plot from becoming stale cotton candy. Ellie's self-absorption may rival that of a reality-TV dating contestant's, but her down-to-earth appeal as she moons over dazzling Ted, her demanding dog and the ups and downs of the lives of family and friends makes her a delightful romantic comedy heroine.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Take one hapless, likable Good Girl (Ellie Winters). Place in prestigious, lucrative, yet personally unfulfilling profession (litigation attorney). Set in bustling glamorous city (Washington, D.C.). Add one brash and sexy best friend (Nina) and one dashing prominent potential boyfriend (Ted Langston). Toss in some professional drama (coworker Katherine trying to sabotage an important case), romantic competition (Ted's ex-wife, Alice), and an overbearing mother (Gloria). Watch everything explode in the heroine's life as she loses both job and boyfriend and experiences Thanksgiving from the Black Lagoon. See Good Girl rally, with support of best friend and dog, to start over with new self-confidence and creative stress-free job. The latest entry in the chick-lit derby is a fun, fluffy read with some formula scenarios and cliched dialogue--Good Girl meets boyfriend wearing a highlighting cap under a baseball cap to hide the disastrous dye job; Good Girl screams at Mother during horrendous dinner party, "It's my life, not yours!" Recommended for collections that can't keep enough of this subgenre on the shelves for fans. Kaite MediatoreCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved