Jane Green is the Number One bestselling author of fourteen novels: Straight Talking, Jemima J, Mr Maybe,Bookends, Babyville, Spellbound, The Other Woman, Life Swap, Second Chance, The Beach House, Girl Friday, The Love Verb, The Patchwork Marriage and The Accidental Husband. Jane and her husband live in Connecticut with their blended family of six children.
In her follow-up to Jemima J and Mr. Maybe, Green once again takes on the world from a youngish single woman's perspective, but this time with a slightly larger cast of characters. Though primarily Catherine's story, this novel also includes Josh, Cath's married friend; his wife and son; and Simon, Cath's (somewhat stereotypically) homosexual best friend. They all met at school, where the perfect, rich Portia was their idol. Though she eventually toppled off her pedestal, the others have maintained their broken circle. Fast-forward a few years, and Portia resurfaces. Thus, Cath must deal with the best friend whose loss she never really got over while also achieving her dream of opening a bookstore and finally availing herself of love. This novel is touted as Green's next, more mature step, but it's not that original or interesting. Cath is a frustrating character, and the dialog is uninspired and generic. The only inspired stroke is Portia; she's a much more intriguing character than any of the others. Recommended for libraries with large popular fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/02.] Amanda Glasbrenner, New York Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Popular British author Green (Jemima J and Mr. Maybe) follows up her two hits with a less sparkling effort that examines the intricacies of enduring friendships. In college 10 years ago, a small group of misfits "dowdy Catherine, gay Simon, cute naOf Josh and his object of affection, the regally beautiful Portia"were best friends. After a messy split from Portia, the others have continued their friendship without her. While promiscuous Si and celibate Cath have lousy luck with men, Josh is happily married to earthy Lucy. The members of the tightly knit quartet commiserate about extra body weight, job dissatisfaction and the search for love, but are basically content"until Portia reenters their lives and threatens their stability. Green touts her return as almost sinister, but the forecasted tornado ends up a mere zephyr. The novel opens with a promising bang, only to peter out before fulfilling its potential. Green has a knack for creating both atmosphere and characters that ring true, but the dialogue is sometimes strangely stilted and does little to propel the oft-meandering plot. There are some bright spots, like Cath's blossoming relationship with dreamboat James, but they are too few and far between to steady the pace. (June 11) Forecast: Bookends was a London Times bestseller and, based on the success of its predecessors here"including Mr. Maybe, which appears simultaneously in paper"her audience will forgive her this miss and still pick it up for the beach. Major ad/promo; author appearances in New York and Connecticut. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.