Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CLC Ladies talk characters

To go along with International Chick Lit Month, we asked authors different questions about characters. One of the options was to take one of their characters on a friend date. Another was to choose their top five favorite chick lit characters (either from their own books or other books they had read). Some of us at CLC decided to answer these questions, as well!


I've read Bridget Jones's Diary twice and I’ve watched the movie many times. I love how Bridget doesn't care what people think about her, for the most part is carefree, and most important (especially in today's society), she's fine with her physical body not being thin (not SO), the way society thinks women’s bodies should be. I'd fly to see her in London and stay at her flat for a long weekend. We’d go shopping at Harrod's, go to one of her family get-togethers (how hilarious would that be, right?) and that night go to a club, drink and dance the night away. I can totally imagine me having to take care of Bridget when we got back to her apartment, and then the next morning her waking up with a hangover and chocolate is the only thing that will help it.

Melissa A:

Photo by: Andrea Cipriani Mecchi
Since choosing favorite characters is like choosing a favorite child, I've decided to narrow it down to one author and pick five from their books. Since Jennifer Weiner has a new book coming out next month (!!!), I'm celebrating some of her past characters.

1. Cannie Shapiro (Good in Bed and Certain Girls): She reminds me a lot of myself and I love her snarky wit. I can even relate to her on having a child with hearing loss.
2. Maggie Feller (In Her Shoes): You'd think I would say Rose because we're probably more alike, but Maggie was so vibrant and so easy to sympathize with. I just wanted her to get things right and was cheering her on when she did.
3. Becky Rothstein Rabinowitz (Little Earthquakes): She also reminds me a lot of myself. She's very kind and outgoing.
4. Ruth Saunders (The Next Best Thing): Really, what was there not to like? She was so genuine and didn't let Hollywood get the best of her. She was so funny too!
5. Rae, Ruth's grandma (The Next Best Thing): She was so devoted to Ruth and took such good care of her. I wanted to cry with her when she read what Ruth wrote in her journal. She reminded me a lot of my late maternal grandmother.

Melissa P:

If I had a friend date with a main character from a novel it would be Joan from Maggie Shipstead's new book Astonish Me. Joan is a ballet dancer that helped a fellow dancer defect from Russia in the 1970's and also left ballet (prematurely in my opinion) to have a child and get married.
I would like to spend the day with her and to pick her brain and get her to open up. In the book, Joan is always holding back and lives her life trying to be perfect in every way. Although it seems an unrealistic goal to most people, I think that dancers have an ingrained pressure to live up to ridiculous standards, which spill into their everyday lives. The most mundane things become a quest for perfection. I would like to go for drinks with Joan and ask her about her years as a dancer, her relationships with the men in the book and if she would go back and do anything differently. I have an affinity for her because she seems to float through her life not ever really doing or saying what SHE wants. What would she have changed or pursued had she not taken the road she did?
I don't know if we would become best friends but I'm certain we would remain friends either way.


1) Jen Lancaster from her memoirs: We're both sarcastic and have a very low tolerance for stupid, so I felt an instant connection. Her ability to laugh at herself (along with everyone around her) is a rare quality, and never self-deprecating to the point of being uncomfortable to read.
2) Becky Bloomwood from the Shopaholic books: she always saw the good in everything and everyone, and was never insipid or annoying about it. Plus, she was so fashionable!!
3) Rose Fiorello from The Devil You Know by Louise Bagshawe: she saw everything as an opportunity and broke down massive goals into manageable steps. She never quit until she got what she wanted. Love her!
4) Cannie Shapiro from Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner: she was so real. Everyone writes about people finding inner peace, but Cannie found her inner fire and used it productively.
5) Perdita MacLeod from Polo by Jilly Cooper: she never quit. She was 14 when the book began and pushed and shoved her way into life she wanted until she found a way to do what she loved the most. She could have been written as a spoiled, bratty child (and at times she was) but somehow she was the character that I always rooted for.


Connie said...

Great idea and great answers. Intrigues me to read the books I haven't yet.

Janine said...

I agree with what Connie says. This does have me intrigued and wanting to read these books.