I found the title and book cover very misleading as the story turned out to be something else than what I was expecting. I was expecting a light, fun chick-lit read about, well, girls who gossip. I wouldnt classify this book as a chick-lit, though thats what it is marketed as. Dont get me wrong; I still enjoyed the book once I got over the initial surprise at the punch this book packs. Instead of gossip, this story is actually more about death, the grieving process, dysfunctional families, and revenge. Add in some friends, an internship at a magazine and a budding relationship and you get this book.
The main character is Helaina Denner and she is returning home to Denver for the summer. Her mother recently died under mysterious circumstances a few months back and Helaina is still reeling from the shock and having a difficult time coping with the grieving process. For the most part, she is happy to be back at home and reconnecting with her best friends, Hannah and Marni. She is hoping to reconnect with her father but that proves next to impossible. Helaina discovers that her mothers sister, Claudia, has moved in and is most likely having an affair with Helainas father. I knowewwwww, right?
Helaina is offered an intern position at a local magazine by a friend of the family and meets Owen who is her boss stepson and, it turns out, is also working at the magazine. Helaina thinks the experience gained will be beneficial to her budding filmmaker career.
Things get interesting when Helaina decides to do a little investigating and locates her mothers journal hidden away in a secret compartment of her mothers desk. Upon reading the journal, Helaina is given a front-row seat into the despair her mother was feeling, knowing her husband has been unfaithful for most of their marriage, but to also learn that her husband is having an affair with her own sister. The sister she has allowed to move into her home, who she has given money to over the years. Sadly, Helainas mother is the victim of gossip as everyone seems to know about her marriage problems, even her hairdresser. Helaina decides she wants revenge on her father and aunt for their part in destroying her mothers happiness which she believes is the reason behind her death, though the issue of whether Helainas mother committed suicide or died because she lost control of her car in a tragic accident is never clarified.
I liked Helaina and felt a lot of sympathy for her. I found her behavior very understandable under the circumstances and hated the way her father treated her. I thought he was a very selfish man who didnt deserve one smidgen of success or happiness. The outcome of the story leads me to believe that her father and aunt get their comeuppance but there were still a lot of unresolved issues. Fortunately, Helaina makes a major breakthrough when she realizes that we dont get to choose our family and that working through her grief brings her closer to her mother.
So, chick-lit fans, this is not a light, funny, typical chick-lit read, but its a good story thats worth a look.
Hamlet from the point of view of a modern American girl- that's the concept of this wonderful story- another winner from Theresa Alan!
Don't let the name or the cover art fool you, this is not a book about flakey girls who spend their times gossiping. This is a great story about a young woman dealing with serious issues of love, loss and family. It is funny, sad and sweet all at once. A great read- you'll be laughing and crying all at the same time!