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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different but worth it, 1 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Group (VMC) (Paperback)
Whilst I love the classics (Dickens, Orwell, Dumas) I have never really considered this book. In terms of modern fiction I never read what is rather harshly called `chick lit' (detective thrillers being my guilty pleasure in the book world) but I have to say I really enjoyed this book and read it in the space of four days.

Whilst it did have a large cast of characters and there was the occasional moment where I found myself flipping backwards to check that I had recalled who I was reading about correctly I think the book benefited from this. It allowed a large range of issues to be addressed and brought out a number of different characters. Despite being set in the past a number of the issues raised were scarily contemporary (work v family, the role of women, sexual freedoms) and this made it easy to relate to. The women involved are sympathetic to a greater or lesser degree and I think everyone will find someone to relate to. In one instance I found myself not really liking Kay but still felt some sympathy for the situation she found herself in and this was down to the way the book is written. The majority of the men in the book come across pretty badly but none of them ever seem less than human or a caricature of what they are meant to be so whilst the author could have been a bit more lenient on the male gender she doesn't turn them into complete monsters.

I also agree with the idea that both the chapters and the paragraphs are very long. This could make reading them at first appear like an effort but I found the writing carried me along so I don't think it detracted from the book at all. The style also helped to conjure up the setting of thirties New York and it was easy to be drawn into the world that had been created, despite the idea of clubs, servants, and private planes being foreign to me. The book is also structured fairly well in terms of moving time on and the beginning came full-circle to the end, which I liked.

I think the comparison to Sex and the City to be rather unfair and probably a bit misleading. That this could be considered a for-runner of SatC is fair enough but if you expect it to be pretty much the same you will be disappointed. This book requires more effort than any episode of the television show (which I did enjoy) but I think it gives you more in return as well.
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Location: Birmingham

Top Reviewer Ranking: 266,487