Nancy Corbett

Books Read in 2007

General Fiction

Lost Girls and Love Hotels by Catherine Hanrahan

When I met Catherine Hanrahan at a book signing, I asked her if her book was Chick Lit. The cover of the book is screaming pink with an anima style drawing of a woman wrapped in sheets, gazing at me with paint-on-velvet eyes. Upon hearing this question, Hanrahanís eyes registered hurt with a sliver of anger, then turned to defense. I think her companion actually gasped. No, she said. Her book was anything but Chick Lit. She didnít see why I would have thought such a thing.

Well, she was right. Lost Girls and Love Hotels is not Chick Lit. Lost Girls is about a Canadian girl who went to Japan for some privacy. Anyone who has ever used a crowd as a blanket will understand that. The backdrop of Tokyo makes this a fun read for western women. The cultural disparity between east and west makes for an atmosphere akin to Hello Kitty in a porn flick.

The story is solid, has depth and deserves attention. However, this debut novel is just that. I expect to see some good things from Hanrahan in the future. Lost Girls combines the banality of youth, the disorientation of living in a foreign country, and the angst of an adolescence not left behind. But, stylistically, it is distracting. The book jerked me from one perspective to another, going from a barrage of sentence fragments to run-ons. The story shifted from first to second person and then back again. Iím sure that these shifts were an intentional move on behalf of literary license, but I just found myself wanting to reach for a red pen.

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams..." Arthur O'Shaughnessy

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