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Monday, January 22, 2007

Getting Warmer

****½ Getting Warmer by Carol Snow. Women's fiction.

This is Carol Snow's second novel, and I'm having the same trouble categorizing it as I did her first. Serious chick lit? Funny women's fiction? Maybe I just need to expand my definition of "women's fiction" to include books that aren't about women in their 40s who get divorced.

Getting Warmer is about high school teacher Natalie Quackenbush. Her life is pretty dull: teaching English to teenagers who couldn't care less, and living with her parents while she pays off her student loans. And she hasn't had a whole lot of luck in the romance department. So when she and her best friend Jill go out, they... lie. They invent stories about themselves, the more outrageous the better. It's fun, and it livens things up a bit.

Until, of course, Natalie meets somebody she's actually interested in, and before she knows it he and his family all think she teaches at a prison and lives with her parents because her mother has Alzheimer's.

What follows with Jonathan is pretty much what you'd expect: every time Natalie tries to come clean, she ends up deeper in the lies, but it's written with such warmth and humor that it feels real.

That's not the only curve ball that life throws Natalie. In short order, her job, her family, and even her friendship with Jill are in crisis. In the process of dealing with everything falling apart, Natalie grows and learns and becomes a stronger, happier person.

It sounds like a cautionary tale, doesn't it? "Lying's bad, mmm-kay?" But that's only because I suck at explaining books I enjoy. Fun, humor, romance, and warmth. How's that?

I'll be watching for Carol Snow's next book.


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i might read this just because i grew up with a natalie quakenbush
LOL! You definitely have to, now. It's a very distinctive name.
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