So I took the plunge and decided to open the covers of my first 'women's fiction' novel. It's My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
I started reading it while on the elliptical at the 'Y'--the true acid test of a good book, because if it doesn't make the time fly, out it goes.
Astonishingly, my first fifty minute workout went by really quickly. I'd even done the five minute cool-down without realizing it--and I was stepping away and no 'burned calories' were being recorded because the damned machine had switched off.
Well and good.
As I delved deeper, I began to anticipate what was going to happen--not so good. But I have to say her writing is excellent. She can sure turn a phrase and some of her similies and metaphors are really good--if a bit abundant, something I was accused of by an editor on one occasion. And a few are a stretch, but every writer can't hit a perfect score on that count.
I find her woman characters are fantastically drawn, but am less convinced by the lead male character, Cameron, and Sara's husband. Their sensibilities and thoughts are too much what a woman would want them to be and didn't ring real for me.
However, these are minor quibbles and I will definitely read another Picoult novel.
Men looking for an ice breaker at the gym or wherever might consider carrying about one of her novels. It's extraordinary the number of women who've approached me to ask how I'm enjoying the book and then begin chatting as if I'm their best friend, even women who've ignored me at the gym for the past three years.
Yes Virginia, there really is a thing called women's fiction.