Monday, November 27, 2006

A Big Storm Knocked It Over by Laurie Colwin

I have been doing so much rereading right now—for my book group and other projects—that I was craving something fresh, short, and utterly delightful. Why didn’t I think of Laurie Colwin earlier? I have always enjoyed anything I have read by her for their breezy brilliance, and this is no exception. Jane Louise is a recently married graphic artist for a publishing company in Manhattan whose work is constantly being interrupted by her oversexed co-worker, Sven. Jane Louise and her husband Teddy have a lovely life together, although Jane Louise constantly suffers pangs that he married the wrong woman—he should have married a prim, blonde Christian instead of a skinny, anxiety-ridden Jewish girl. And she allows herself to contemplate sex with the ever-scheming Sven, which sets her into an endless spiral of confusion. But really this is just a sweet, simple novel about a young woman learning about love and family and herself, and learning to trust in the life that she has chosen. I also loved how pregnancy and motherhood and friendship is depicted in this novel. You really feel as though you are among friends when reading Colwin’s books—there is an easy familiarity and chattiness that entertains as it fills a void (for me anyway—my dearest friend is 3,000 miles away and we mainly communicate through letters). It is just so sad to think that this is Colwin’s last novel; she died of a heart attack at the age of 48.

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