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The Waitress Paperback – Bargain Price, April 26, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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From Booklist

Three years out of university, Katie has been waiting tables trying to figure out what to do with her life. When it turns out that waitressing (well, being a restaurateur) may be it after all, her mom is none too thrilled. On top of family pressure to sort out her professional life, Katie begins to wonder if she isn't romantically challenged, especially after she sneaks out of a restaurant mid-date while her companion, who she really liked, is in the bathroom. Soon after, said date buys the cafe where Katie works, leaving her to wonder how things could get any worse. Of course, things get better, not worse, as Katie and friends Jon and Sukie eventually find the calm that has eluded them. Nathan has an ear for witty dialogue and aptly describes the confusing postcollege years. Entertaining chick lit with a dollop of career counseling. Beth Leistensnider
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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"Warm and witty" Woman's Own "Pacy, entertaining" You Magazine "Take this book on holiday and you'll come home bursting with exciting plans to shake up your life" Cosmopolitan "The leading comic romantic novelist of her generation" Guardian "This is one to gobble up in a single sitting" Company --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060736658
  • ASIN: B000GG4HZM
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,806,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By RCM VINE VOICE on January 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Having read all of Melissa Nathan's novels, I can say that she is just as pithy and delightful as ever. Nathan's books have an energy and verve which move the pace along quickly, making the reader not want to put down the book until they are finished with it. Reading one of her books is like curling up to watch one of your favorite comedies unfold.

Nathan's latest novel, "The Waitress", tells the story of twenty-four year old Katie Simmonds, an Oxford graduate who works as a waitress while she is 'waiting' to find the perfect job. The perfect job seems to come along each week when Katie's mind alights on something she thinks she'd like to do, but isn't brave enough to risk a commitment to. And lack of commitment is a problem in her personal life as well. She's just walked out on a date with the only man she's liked, only to discover that he's her new boss, and he's already dating someone else. But that doesn't seem to stop him from showing interest in her, or is she just mistaken?

"The Waitress" is Melissa Nathan's latest "chick-lit" offering, a genre that I tend to ignore. Yet Nathan manages to rise above most of the other fodder this genre offers by making her characters believeable and intelligent. While the stories are predictable - yes, we know that the girl will find the right guy and they'll live happily ever after - the in-between time is peppered with wit, frustration, and amusing subplots that keep the reader interested even when they know how it will all turn out.
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Format: Kindle Edition
“The Waitress” by Melissa Nathan was a quirky chic-lit book that I just happened upon. I’m not certain where it came from, but it appeared on my bookshelf when I was looking for a light read, so I grabbed it. I was a little surprised at the different directions that the book went off in, but overall found myself interested in Katie. The book has a romantic side to it, but there is also a lot of focus on Katie trying to discover who she is and who she wants to be.

Part of what I enjoyed about “The Waitress” was just how relatable I found Katie to be – her indecisive nature, her attitude towards life, her ability to get super lost while driving, her extreme sarcastic nature – all attributes that I share. Her knack for becoming comfortable right before she has to wake up: “She rolled over. And then, oh joy, she was unable to move. She was, quite unexpectedly, more comfortable than she had ever been in her life. She focused on it so as not to forget the feeling. Yes, her body had chanced upon a position that made all other positions a nonsense. Her limbs felt light with the luxury of it. The spaced between them were perfection. There was probably an equation for it. Every feather in her duvet had found its optimum position, and as for her pillow, it was a cloud. Her head seemed to be cushioned in cotton wool. All thoughts were clear here. All emotions profound. Was this what heaven felt like? Why, she thought, had this not happened ten hours ago? Why had she spent an entire night trying to get this comfortable? Why had she not tried this position? It was hardly complicated. Her body almost hummed with happiness. She was the closest she’d ever come to purring. It felt as if time had stood still.” (The Waitress, pg 110/111).
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Format: Paperback
Katie Simmonds got her degree from Oxford, then froze, unable to decide what to do with her life. Or rather, she decides what to do--for a day or two. Her roommate has helped her write sixty resumes, for the dream of the moment. In the meantime, she and her actor-best friend Sukie work as waitresses in a cheap cafe. When Katie finally meets her dream man, she is torn with indecision, unable to talk to him at all, and bolts halfway through their dinner date. She doesn't dream that Dan the dream man is about to come the new owner of the cafe--and her new boss.

Katie wrestles with her growing attraction for Dan, and with her self-doubts and concerns for her future. In the meantime, Sukie tries to get acting jobs, Matt the dishwasher falls for beautiful and perfect Jennifer, and brainless waitress Patsy flirts with equally brainless (but talented) chef Nik. Adding to Katie's problems, though, Dan has gone back to his old girlfriend--and that girlfriend quickly makes the right noises to move from girlfriend to fiancee.

Author Melissa Nathan keeps the laughs coming as Katie and Sukie turn being super-rude waitresses into something that appeals to the crowds, as Katie wards off advances from drunk ex-boyfriend Hugh, and as Matt wrestles with overgrown pimples that erupt just as he is about to enter into the perfect date with beautiful Jennifer.

Too often, it seems like the world expects the twenty-something to know what to do. But school, even a degree from Oxford, can offer precious little practical direction--and it is easy to become trapped in a job. Of course, sometimes that job-trap can actually become something more.

Fans of humorous England-set chick-lit will definitely want to add this one to their must-read list.
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Format: Paperback
I loved Nathan's first book, Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field: A Novel (a modern take-off on P&P), and I thought The Waitress was just as good. The romance is kind of blah, but it was a well-written comedy with three-dimensional characters and some really clever lines. The dialogue is "Gilmore Girls" quick - blink and you'll miss something - and Nathan is great at situational comedy.

Katie Simmonds waits tables at a London commuter café in an "up and coming" part of London. She's been doing this for years, so it's beginning to look like this is her long-term career. But that's fine with Katie - she's happy at the café, insulting the commuters and mastering the art of snarkiness with her fellow servers. Her days at the café look numbered, though, when Dan Crichton. Katie and Dan haven't seen each other since a disastrous date a few months back. Now he's in her life every day, as is his truly horrid girlfriend.

My main issue with The Waitress: Dan is kind of a wuss. Now, I have no problem with a manfully shed tear or two - to think that men never cry is silly and insulting. This guy doesn't cry though, he weeps. Frequently. And he's an emotional doormat - how he let himself get tangled up with his awful girlfriend is beyond me. He has a few charming moments, but not enough to warrant his hero status.

So why did I like this book? It's very funny and the characters are very likable. One of the hallmarks of chick lit is that the comedy is just as important as the romance. In fact, according to Nathan's husband, she preferred the term comedy romance since she thought laughter was most important and love was a sweet bonus. Sadly, Nathan passed away from breast cancer a few years at the age of 37 so the five books she finished are all we'll get from her.
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