Native Brit Green (Jemima J; Mr. Maybe) had a hit in England with her first novel when it was published there in 1997; it follows the lives of four women (or "ladettes") through lunch dates, new mates and heartbreaks. Career-minded Tasha, who has clawed her way up the ladder of British television to be a producer for a popular a.m. chat-fest, narrates in a brisk, snappy monologue. Although she prides herself on her stylish clothes and glamorous job ("I'm generally thought of as strikingly attractive," she notes), what she really needs is the love of a good man. The problem? She's a sucker for rakes who make her pulse race, treat her horribly and break her heart. Smitten with commitment-phobic Simon, Tasha gets to know his best friend, Adam, to whom she turns for support when Simon calls it quits. Adam and Tasha become great friends-until he announces he loves her. "These are the words I've longed to hear. For years I've dreamed, of being in this situation, of sitting on a terrace, lit by candlelight, facing a man who I love, who tells me he love me too. But this is Adam," Tasha moans. "I love Adam but I don't want his tongue in my mouth, his hand on my breast, his body in my bed." Eventually, Tasha decides to give dating Adam a try, but her desire for passion continues to haunt her until she's forced to choose between warm stability with Adam and scorching hot sex with a handsome stranger. Though this volume has some of the familiar Sex in the City/Bridget Jones's Diary spark, it's neither as charismatic nor humorous as Green's later works. (Sept. 23) Forecast: Jemima J has sold more than 330,000 copies to date in the U.S.; Mr. Maybe more than 195,000; and Bookends more than 66,000. Green's latest may lag behind, but it should still do solid numbers. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Before Jemima J, Mr. Maybe, Bookends, and Babyville, there was Green's first novel, which is finally being released stateside. Anastasia (Tasha to her friends) is 30 and single. She has a glamorous job as producer of a morning call-in show in London, three great friends, and something of a commitment problem. Her girlfriends' relationships are troubled as well. Andrea is just one of the guys to most men, so she has to settle for one-night stands. Mel is stuck in a dependable but loveless relationship. Emma, who has been engaged three times, is dying to get married but can't get a man to make it to the altar. As for Tasha, she finally has to give up on her jerky boyfriend, Simons, when she finds out that he has been cheating on her. Then, instead of realizing that the perfect man is right under her nose in the form of Adam, a sweet friend of Simon who is hopelessly in love with her, Tasha goes on a dating frenzy. When Adam confesses his love, Tasha freaks out a bit but finally comes around and understands how lucky she is. Fun to read and full of keen relationship observations, this novel is sure to be demanded by Green's numerous fans. Recommended for all public libraries.-Karen Core, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
London girlfriends. Tasha is intelligent, sophisticated, and successful-just like her best pals Mel, Emma, and Andy, who meet for lunch once a week and chat incessantly. Alas, a dreary but inescapable truth has cast a pall over their sunny fantasies of lifelong love: Men Are Bastards. Especially the handsome ones. Oh, bloody hell-why are these four brave women such fools? Are all males of the species cruel and selfish? Yet handsome bastards remain must-have accessories. Television producer Tasha still pines for Simon, a fabulously witty editor who dumped her for a blond model. Therapist Mel-so good, so genuine-must cope with the antics of Daniel, a lecherous lawyer. Emma simply cannot get Richard, her significant other, to commit. And Andy, the youngest, happily flirts with all comers, sadly unaware that she too is doomed to suffer the pain of unrequited passion. Different kinds of pain are explored in exhausting detail: the Pain of Being Single, of a Meaningless Relationship, of Divorce, of Marriage. Perhaps, muses Tasha, it's all the fault of her mother, who endured her handsome husband's infidelities for too long. Her irritating shrink, Louise, concurs. Could it be that Tasha's childhood plumpness was an effort to comfort herself with food? Louise is quick at making these connections and repeatedly pointing out the obvious. When not soaking dozens of Kleenexes in Louise's office, Tasha goes out with Simon's friend Adam, a kindly bear of a man who is unfortunately far too normal and unexciting. And so she finds herself inexorably drawn to a suave heartbreaker (see above: unresolved Oedipal issues), as if searching for more proof that men are indeed no good. The girlfriends weigh in withtheir opinions-so many insights! Pages of them! But Adam soldiers on, determined to demonstrate his fundamental decency-and surprising skill in bed. Happy ending. Not previously published in the US, this is Green's first outing, precursor to the much more entertaining Jemima J (2000) and Mr. Maybe (2001). Agent: Deborah Schneider/Gelfman Schneider
From the Publisher
“Any woman who’s suffered a relationship trauma, or simply lost her way in the confusion of modern life, will die for this book . . . Wickedly funny, it may not improve your love life, but it will make you squeal with laughter.” —Cosmopolitan
“Irritatingly accurate, Straight Talking is a hilarious and poignant look at love and sex.” —Elle
“Sharp, funny, and packed with familiar situations for all those who’ve ever embarked on the dating game.” —Tattler
Read an Excerpt
Delivering a straight-talking look at modern love, Jane Green’s novels have taken readers by storm. Now her avid fans on this side of the Atlantic can indulge in the book that started it all: her funny, flirty, and ultimately tender debut, Straight Talking.
Featuring the clever scenarios, endearing characters, and smart dialogue that have become the author's trademarks, Straight Talking follows the lively dilemmas of Tasha, a single career girl who sets the record straight regarding the real world of dating. As she and her three best friends have discovered, contemporary romance is nothing like the fairy tales promised. Each of Tasha’s friends contends with a hurdle of the heart: a dependable but loveless relationship; the empty elation of drinking contests and one-night stands; an impasse when the other half refuses to propose. As for the men, there’s Andrew, who’s head over heels in love . . . with himself. Simon is allergic to commitment. And Adam is sweet, but too sweet to be sexy.
Sharing the ingenious adventures of four young women as they search for happiness and the right kind of love, Straight Talking is sure to have everybody talking.
JANE GREEN's previous books include Babyville, Bookends, Mr. Maybe, and Jemima J, all of which were international bestsellers. Before the overnight success of Straight Talking, she worked as a journalist and publicist. A native of England, she now lives in Westport, Connecticut.