Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The Great-Grandmother of Chick Lit?

I'm just about to finish STAR MONEY by Kathleen Winsor. It was her follow up to her first and most popular novel, FOREVER AMBER. Winsor became rich and famous with the publication of the book as well as the subsequent sale of the movie rights, but judging from STAR MONEY (a novel about a young woman who writes a bestselling novel) she took a lot of crap from the critics and the reading public as well. Her biggest sin was being young and quite beautiful, so the abovementioned didn't take her seriously, and mocked her book for being a bodice-ripper. Worse, people berated her for writing about sex. As humorist (and my very favorite literary critic) Florence King pointed out, "They ignored her excellent writing and meticulous research."

STAR MONEY seems very much like the great-grandmother of Chick Lit, and surprisingly, I don't mean it in a bad way. Shireen Delaney, the heroine of STAR MONEY is much like the Chick Lit heroines: She is sharp, witty, and intelligent, but she has a penchant for falling in love with jerks. Most of the time, she sees through them with a withering accuracy, but then they'll say or do something that makes her melt down, coming to her senses once again hours later in the stark daylight. So far, her overreaching philosophy has been that whatever it is ails them, not her.

I'm really enjoying this novel, and wish it could be reissued, but they'd probably market it with one of those icky hot pink covers that keep me away like a force field.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ever since I read Star Money I have considered it one of the best novels of the feminine psyche ever to have been written.