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The Marrying Kind
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Praise for Conrad s previous books: Conrad s characters are well developed and easily identified with. Andrea L.T. Peterson, WOMAN S MONTHLY Fair warning: do not pick this book up late in the evening. It is a totally engaging page-turner that you will not be able to put down Kathryn Lanier, INNERCHANGE MAGAZINE consistently outstanding immensely readable Ayofemi Stowe, IMRU, KPFK excellent Diane Wilde, SHE MAGAZINE The Marrying Kind Meet Zooey James, an attractive, brainy student and talented tennis player; Danielle Delacroix, the beautiful and wealthy child of an aristocratic French family; Patti Hammond, a funny, irreverent redhead and ex-cheerleader; Brenna Donovan, an Irish beauty who is sweet, loving and devoutly Catholic; and Elizabeth Riordan, brilliant but remote and aloof since the death of her mother. These five women stay in touch through marriages, affairs, estrangements and finally reconciliation over 35 years as their warm, funny friendships stay in tact in a changing world. Sex in the City in the 70s and beyond. It s 1971, and Zooey and her old-school B.F.F. s Elizabeth, Brenna, Danielle and Patti are new students at Sanders College in California. Their somewhat wild college years are filled with ups and downs, love and laughs you know, the kinds of things that fill most girls college years. After graduating, we fast-forward to 1985, when our girls have, more or less, become women, and now instead of partying, lusting and playing their respective fields, they re navigating their way through the real world, sometimes successfully, sometimes, well not so much. Each woman spends the ensuing decade attempting to find a balance between happiness and adulthood two states that aren t necessarily mutually exclusive while maintaining some semblance of an exciting romantic life. So do they make it happen? Can a woman of a certain age have it all? According to Conrad, those oft-asked questions are answered with a resounding sometimes. A prolific novelist (Baktun 2012, 2002, etc.), short story writer, essayist and children s book writer, Conrad has a nice way with dialogue. The fact that the characters are all the same age and share similar upbringings would make it easy for all five of their voices to get mushed together, but each woman speaks sharply and distinctly. Another plus is that her male characters, particularly the enigmatic Sean, come across as three-dimensional, something that isn t always the case in chicks-with-posses fiction. On the other hand, the lengthier expository sections and Zooey s internal monologue have a tendency to ramble, and, at times, slow the momentum. However, there are enough sweet moments and solid set pieces throughout the book to make it an enjoyable, if not particularly memorable, read. A sometimes irreverent, sometimes poignant story of growing apart, growing together and growing up. Kirkus Discoveries
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