Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen

VII. Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen

Am I the only one who ever gets a jones for “women’s fiction?” That’s an industry term, I think, but for me it just means: books about grown-up ladies doing everyday kind of things. Not romance. Not chick-lit.

Anyway. I had a jones, and this was what I found. Bridget Fitzmaurice is our narrator. While she took her time settling down, Bridget has finally found her niche in life – a career directing a women’s shelter in the Bronx, a sweethearted cop for a long-term boyfriend, and a tight relationship with both her older sister, Meghan, and Meghan’s 19-year-old son, Leo. But Meghan isn’t just your average controlling, anal retentive older sister: Meghan Fitzmaurice is a fictional Katie Couric. She brings American the news every morning – “Rise and Shine!” – but the kind of news that comes with a big comfy couch and perhaps, a quick show of fall fashions. And one morning, Meghan shatters her squeaky-clean image on camera, and instead of quickly assuaging her reputation, she flees the country. Bridget is left piecing together what happened – and trying to reach the sister that helped Bridget find her own path.

A quick look on Amazon’s reviews would send you running from this book. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never read any Anna Quindlen, but I thought her writing was sharp, Bridget’s worldview amusing and thoughtful, and the character relationships alarmingly fleshed out. Although I wished it was a little bit more about Bridget than Meghan’s dramas, I think the writing made up for it, especially in terms of pacing and scene choice. She made surprising leaps in the timeline, but the story remained cohesive.

Buy this for: your book-club lovin’ aunt, fans of Jennifer Weiner, or your friend who has subscriptions to People, US Weekly, AND Star magazine and can’t stop talking about what celebrities are really like.

Anna Quindlen online | Amazon link

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