chick lit

Book Covers

Today I read a little piece on book covers-why books written by women (or featuring female protagonists)-are often pink or otherwise “girly,” even when that doesn’t jibe with the book’s subject matter.  When I’m at the bookstore or library, covers certainly draw my attention to a book-I’m tempted to pick up those that look ‘fun’ but not too silly or cheap.  I’ve certainly picked up some that would seem to fall into the ‘chick lit’ category, only to put them down again after reading back jackets that seem to describe a much more depressing story.  What do you think of this type of advertising? One chick lit book that I’ve read and enjoyed is Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. (If you enjoy book cover design, Stephanie had recommended the hilarious “Judge a Book by it’s Cover” blog.)

The Family Fortune

Keeping up with my Austen kick, another slightly chick lit adaptation that I read recently (this fall) was The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz.  This modernizing update of Persuasion was recommended to me by a friend.  Even though I’m well familiar with the story, I still found myself dying to get back to reading it.  Somehow, these stories still manage to generate in me a page-turning suspense.

I thought certain aspects of this update worked better than others.  Jane Fortune, the Anne Eliot stand-in works for her family’s literary journal, the Euphemia Review.  While in keeping with Jane’s literary interests (and the opportunity for meeting her Captain Wentworth figure, writer Max Wellman), something about the unrealistic nature of her career bothered me.  The story is set in Boston, which makes it a fun read. 

While no Austen, and at times oddly irksome, I still found myself captivated by The Family Fortune.  What do you think of the cottage industry of chick lit ‘Austen’ retreads?  Do you have a book that fully captured your interest despite its faults?