Title: Ex and the Single Girl
Author: Lani Diane Rich
Published: 2005, 5 Spot
I generally don't have much patience with ChickLit. I really don't have the energy to go into the whole is ChickLit a valid or worthy genre?/is it undermining feminism?/ or is it a narcissistic and materialistic waste of time? debate. Personally, I read whatever I want and no apologies! I'm just usually annoyed by ChickLit characters, so I tend to avoid them. (For example, the Shopaholic books made me nauseous. I'm not joking--physically ill.)
But Wendy the Superlibrarian said this was one of her favorite reads of 2005, so I thought I'd give it a try. And I really liked it. Portia Fallon gets dumped and, feeling at a loose end, travels back to her hometown of Truly, Georgia. (It's set in the south, yippeee!) Her crazy family consists of the "Mizz Fallons"-- her mother, aunt, and grandmother, all of whom she calls by first names. There are shades of Ya-Ya in mothers who love their children, but are slightly resentful at the same time, preferring to be more friends than actual mothers. We learn that Portia's "Penis Teflon" (the way men won't stick to her) is a family trait. Portia decides to find out why the women in her family are constantly being abandoned.
This book is very sweet and funny. And it's not just about the all-important finding and keeping of a man. It's about self-actualization. Portia really does learn something about her family and about herself.
I think I'll look for other books by this author.