We all do it. We all read and have a secret love of romantic novels. Even woman who strive not to fit the stereotype, have read at least one in their life time. Romance is a guaranteed sell, every time, whether it be in the form of a book, a movie or a TV programme, we are suckers for the slop. But what is it about the book? Maybe it’s that no one can read what we are at that moment like when sitting around watching TV. Maybe it’s that you are in your own secret world and there is no one to challenge it or have an opinion but you. Do we all secretly wish when we are single that we will get swept off our feet in the manner in which girls do in the books? Or that our boyfriend will start and treat us like Mr Right does in the fiction? I certainly feel like I am having a nightly conversation with one of my girlfriends about their lives, about things that I really shouldn’t know about. Their fights, their sex life, their TV dinners, their freak outs. It’s in women to gossip and want to know about other people’s lives, we are programmed that way so why wouldn’t we enjoy a peep into someone else’s life as it hits its turbulence, often with a near perfect ending. Do we resent the character for ending up having a life that we would consider the ideal? Maybe, we certainly are not 100% happy for them as we are often jealous creatures, when no matter what we have, we always want more. Whether it be thinner thighs, a faster motabolism, a better job a nicer house, i could go on....
When I pick up a chick lit, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, that although I have not read it; I am going to like the ending. Despite their predictability, they are still addictive. I often ask how new writers make the modern chick lit not a cliché as this is such an easy trap for a authors to fall into. I am assured that with the diverse careers women now have (compared to Austin days) that can take them anywhere in the world. This can be the basis of many a story previously untouched.
They are often an easy read, relatable and full of things that we too do but would never admit. It is often like the author is in my mind and picking bits out of there for good humour. I guess this is why woman can talk so much, as we have a lot in common.
I am currently reading Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin and with every page I am filled with a mix up of feelings. I admire the key character, Rachel, in fact I can see some elements of myself in her. I have known so many people like her best friend, Darcy who irritates me with every would that escapes her mouth. I disagree with what the main protagonist has done with her best friend’s fiancée (slept with him), but I love the friction it causes between her and her friend. All the while I’m 99% certain of the ending, but I am excited and eager to find out the process along the way.
The conflict both upsets us and brings us joy, or there would be no substance to the story. We want the nasty girl to get her comeuppance, but, as with our friends when they so something we don’t agree with, we find it I our hearts to forgive them, because well, we are friends.
The feeling of guilt we have all experienced with our friends, in fewer cases guilt over sleeping with their partner, nevertheless, we can adapt to the situation!
In a nutshell, chick-lit can address every changing mood a woman experiences, love, loss, weight issues, friendship, family, periods (hence the mood changes!), so there is not a time when we wouldn’t read one! An all-rounder and I challenge you to disagree!
Female First Lucy Walton