Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Book 70: I'LL TAKE WHAT SHE HAS Review


I'll Take What She Has by Samantha Wilde
ISBN: 9780385342674 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780345535764 (ebook)
ASIN: B008WOUMV8 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Bantam
Publication date: February 26, 2013


Nora and Annie have been best friends since kindergarten. Nora, a shy English teacher at a quaint New England boarding school, longs to have a baby. Annie, an outspoken stay-at-home mother of two, longs for one day of peace and quiet (not to mention more money and some free time). Despite their very different lives, nothing can come between them—until Cynthia Cypress arrives on campus.
 
Cynthia has it all: brains, beauty, impeccable style, and a gorgeous husband (who happens to be Nora’s ex). When Cynthia eagerly befriends Nora, Annie’s oldest friendship is tested. Now, each woman must wrestle the green-eyed demon of envy and, in the process, confront imperfect, mixed-up family histories they don’t want to repeat. Amid the hilarious and harried straits of friendship, marriage, and parenthood, the women may discover that the greenest grass is right beneath their feet.

I'll Take What She Has offers a fun, and often irreverent tongue-in-cheek look at friendship between women and women's issues. Nora is an accomplished teacher but she often finds herself lacking, especially when it comes to having a child. Her biological clock isn't ticking it's resounding like the bass-line in a heavy metal song. Annie is a devoted mother and loves her partner, but often looks at other women without children and feels she's being left behind. Both Nora and Annie find it difficult to not be jealous of Cynthia, a new teacher on the school's campus. Cynthia has traveled the world, appears to have a sixth-sense about what is and isn't fashionable, has a beautiful singing voice, grows her own herbs to make her own teas, and has managed to marry the most eligible man on campus. If that wasn't bad enough Cynthia has also managed to commandeer the apartment that was promised to Annie and talk her husband into having a child (which is heartbreaking to Nora because when she was dating him he said he didn't want children . . . ever, thus the reason for their breakup).

I found I'll Take What She Has to be a relatively fast-paced read and I rather enjoyed the humorous dialogue and situations. However, there was just something about this story that didn't connect with me and I can't really say what it was. Ms. Wilde has provided characters that are well developed and likeable (even the dreaded Cynthia). The action and back-story are well presented and believable. Yet even with all of this by the time I was halfway through the story I simply lost interest and had to force myself to read to the end. My lack of interest could have been due to external factors or presumably a reader's slump, but I found it quite easy to get involved with other books immediately after reading this one so I can't say for sure. Although I didn't connect with I'll Take What She Has, if you enjoy light-hearted, humorous contemporary fiction, then this may be just the story for you.  

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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