Book review: The Year Of Living Famously

I cadged a couple of books from people on my Chicago trip, including The Year Of Living Famously by one Laura Caldwell, which looked suspiciously like an seconds table also-ran from the Chick Lit department. It was given to me by Jan's fabulously loopy godmother, Noni, who got each of us one for Christmas, insisting it was a terrific read and we would love love love it. I had my doubts, but the stack by the bedside was looking extra-grim, what with the crappy weather and global disasters and suchlike, so a couple of days ago, I cracked the sucker and hopped into the bathtub.

Well, it is Chick Lit, but damned if it didn't read like a house afire! I was halfway through this piffling little story about an orphaned Manhattan fashion designer (yes, really) who meets a dashing young Irish actor (I swear to you) in Vegas, of all places (no, no, seriously) and, after a whirlwind romance, moves in with him in L.A., marries him, gets her very own stalker and then, a year later, teeters at the edge of divorcing her now-supahstar husband who has won an Academy Award for Best Actor because she can no longer (after what...three months?) take the constant strain of living in the public eye (okay, okay).

Thing was, I was buying e v e r y t h i n g, wondering how the hell this Adjunct Professor of Law who lives in Chicago with her husband knew jack about the Hollywood game, when she made her fatal mistake: having the main character hire a "graphic designer" who was going to turn around her classic, "ivory, heavy paper, simple, elegant" wedding invites in one week. For cheap. HA! In your dreams, sister.

Still, it's a bitchin' good single-portion read, kind of like a literary bag of Oreos, and it's got me ready for something meaty. I'm thinking B.F.'s Daughter since I've burned through the Richard Yates oeuvre and I don't feel exactly Cheever-y. Thank you, Old Hag...