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Chick-lit gets inspirational.

Emily Hinton is a small-town girl who’s always dreamed of moving to Manhattan, so when she lands a job at a big publishing house, it looks like she’s going to make the dream a reality. She’ll soon find out, though, that big-city life isn’t always compatible with her faith, and the biggest test of all comes in the tall, dark and handsome form of Bennett Edward Wyatt III. Will she succumb to the enticements of New York, or will she make a stand for everything she believes in? Such is the conflict at the heart of Emily’s tale, and it signals one of the many ways it differs from standard chick-lit fare. There’ll be readers, heretofore underserved by popular women’s fiction, who will appreciate the absence of sex. There may also be readers who find Emily’s struggles to reconcile her faith with modern existence both realistic and resonant. But there may also be those who find Emily’s vision of Christianity narrow and judgmental, and some of them may wonder why Emily is willing to lose her job rather than work for a company that publishes a book attacking God and traditional family—while she has no problem spending her Christmas editing an ultraviolent thriller. And without any doubt, some will find Emily’s dogged naïveté utterly exasperating. Throughout her cosmopolitan adventures, after all, she remains much given to bemused sentiments of the “only in New York!” variety. And readers with any knowledge of the ways of the world—not to mention the ways of romantic fiction—will quickly recognize Bennett as a straw man. His professed faith never makes sense—old-money and evangelical Christianity don’t often go together—and he reveals himself as a cad way early.

Christian readers hungry for chick-lit may appreciate the effort, but it’s hard to imagine anyone else enjoying this generally irritating entry.

Pub Date: June 21st, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-51463-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Broadway
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005