“Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance.
Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated.
Her roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills – despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she’s heading for real danger.
Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby – or why she left everything she once loved behind.”
Thoughts: Cate and Renee each have amazing jobs at a high-end magazine but face stepping blocks to truly achieving individual happiness. Abby’s demons bring them together, and together they are able to accomplish even more than they dreamed. Sarah Pekkenan’s latest, These Girls, showcases each girl’s struggles to find success, happiness, and self-satisfaction among the everyday stressors and captures the true meaning of friendship.
The one thing that sets Ms. Pekkanen’s novels apart from other so-called “chick lit” is how well she relays the female mind, complete with all of its twisted, emotional logic. Readers will relate to Cate’s struggles to navigate the tricky world of management in a male-dominated business world. Who has not felt inadequate or unworthy of a promotion as well as that desperate need to prove oneself at all costs? As for Renee’s struggles to lose weight, it is the quintessential struggle of most women. Again, any reader can relate to the warring desires to nosh on the office cupcakes versus fitting into a smaller size. Abby’s issues are a little more esoteric but sometimes what the heart wants cannot be explained or perfectly fit into societal norms. Either way, readers of any age and background can and will be able to empathize with any one, if not all, of the girls.
Ms. Pekkanen is a master at capturing female relationships and the tensions that occur within them. She understands the jealousies, the uncertainty, and the utter devotion that can only be experienced through friendships with other women. It is enough to make those female readers who may not have experienced such close friendships green with envy. For those who already have such close friendships, reading These Girls will cause you to immediately call up the girls for a weekend together.
Acknowledgments: Thank you to Sarah Pekkanen for my review copy!