Chick lit is for women at any age. It’s all about attitude. When I first started reading chick lit, many of the characters were young girls in their 20s starting out their careers at fashion magazines as associate editors, living in big cities with their roommates, drinking while hunting for men after work. Well, chick lit is growing up, and nowhere is that more evident than in some of the novels I’ve been reviewing recently. Maggie Dana’s novel, PAINTING NAKED is one such example.
Jillian Hunter is 52, has raised two sons, madly adores her Connecticut beach cottage and loves being single. Everything old turns new again when she reunites with her childhood sweetheart. What Jillian does upon meeting Colin 35 years after first love, is toss everything aside for a second chance. Her old flame proceeds to woo her and readers for entirely too many pages and she becomes someone she, along with the rest of us doesn’t much like. She puts all her trust in Colin, tossing aside her heart, friends and business for a fairytale. You know where this is going, but Maggie Dana lets her characters make mistakes, and they eventually become stronger for it.
Maggie Dana’s novel is not a sentimental or cliché coming of [middle] age story about a girlfriend no longer a girl, which it could have easily become. It’s about growing up when you’re supposed to be grown up. It’s clever, refreshing and smart. Maggie’s character, Jillian is as optimistic about her future as anyone would be, seeing that there is one ahead of her, despite it being rather bleak at times. There are plenty of moments that I wanted to climb under the covers with Jillian and her cat, Zachary and I’m not even a cat person. But somehow she kept going and the best part? You’re never too old to love again and again!
Ultimately, I took away from PAINTING NAKED the importance of female friendships, especially as we grow older. Times are going to be tough, in fact, they are often. So, suck it up, get it together, make an action plan and reach out to your friends! It’s called life. Your real friends are there for you always.
Thanks to Maggie for the e-book in exchange for an honest review. PAINTING NAKED is available on Kindle for $2.99.
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