The Thin Pink Line

( 16 )

Overview

Jane Taylor is pregnant. Only, not in the conventional sense. It all began when Jane missed her period. Whether it was the clouds in the sky or a major case of pregnancy envy (this year's concern), Jane doesn't know. She only knows that she told her best male friend, and began to believe it. Until she got her period and realized she never was. Pregnant.

But that brief glimpse into the other world — the world of smiling faces and courteous men — was just too beautiful not to be a...

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Overview

Jane Taylor is pregnant. Only, not in the conventional sense. It all began when Jane missed her period. Whether it was the clouds in the sky or a major case of pregnancy envy (this year's concern), Jane doesn't know. She only knows that she told her best male friend, and began to believe it. Until she got her period and realized she never was. Pregnant.

But that brief glimpse into the other world — the world of smiling faces and courteous men — was just too beautiful not to be a part of . . .and so Jane told a little white lie to her live-in boyfriend, and crossed the line. With the help of a pink Magic Marker she closed the gap that separated her from the positively perfect pregos.

Enter Jane's world, one of deception and success, Mr. Wrong and Mr. Right, Nutrition Police and tilted uteruses, baby showers and celebrity obstetricians. As Jane spins closer to her due date, she's got a lot of soul-searching to do — not to mention an appointment with reality . . .

Lauren lives with her husband and daughter in Danbury, Connecticut — and unlike her heroine, she did not fake her pregnancy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The world is a kinder, gentler place for pregnant women, or so discovers Jane Taylor, the heroine of Baratz-Logsted's debut novel, upon learning that she's expecting. So when her pregnancy turns out to be a false alarm, Jane impulsively decides to keep up the ruse. She invents details about her OB-GYN and fakes a growing stomach, among other increasingly inventive tricks. Jane is single (her live-in boyfriend didn't appreciate her deception), almost 30, an editor and British. Sound familiar? Baratz-Logsted is refreshingly self-conscious about following the chick-lit trend. As Jane laments, "Sometimes it felt as though you could no longer turn around in a bookshop or at an editorial meeting without being confronted with yet another pink-covered book whose pages told about the wacky adventures of yet another 20-something Londoner who labored in publishing." Jane's own adventures are more daring than many of her fellow single-female heroines, and Baratz-Logsted's premise is hilarious and original. Soon Jane's pregnancy threatens to ruin a budding romance and a project at work. She wishes she could come clean, but she's been offered a book contract about her farce by a colleague who catches her in the act. Jane doesn't start out as the most likable of characters, but she changes so much over the course of the novel, and is so charmingly audacious, that readers will be rooting for her-and wondering what she'll do at the end of the nine months. (July) Forecast: A substantial ad/promo campaign-this is Red Dress Ink's first hardcover-and the book's own merits should make this a serious contender for summer chick-lit sales. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Faking it-hilariously. Growing up in her perfect sister's shadow left Jane Taylor with a chronic case of underachiever's paranoia. She's only an assistant editor, deluged with the unwanted and unsolicited manuscripts addressed to her superiors at a London publishing company. And she's only living with a self-centered stockbroker, not engaged to him. When, oh when, will anyone ever pay attention to her? Getting her period a week late is the inspiration for a brilliant but bizarre way to get noticed: pretend she's pregnant, which she does. All those who ignored her for so many years are suddenly falling all over themselves to open doors, bring her a cuppa, listen to her whining about minor aches and pains-oh, it's heaven. Her gay confidant and upstairs neighbor David, a veteran of the Israeli Army, points out gently that there will be hell to pay in about nine months, but Jane doesn't care. This is better than love, an emotion she has never actually experienced, even though she tells herself that that could happen any day now ("Birds do it. Bees do it. Even Israelis with hairy knees do it"). Didn't Trevor, the putative father of her fictitious fetus, say he'd do the right thing? That must mean he's going to pop the question, not just change the catbox (see entry under Toxoplasmosis in What To Expect When You're Expecting, her new bible). Yes, he'll marry her, Trevor says impatiently-after the baby is born, if it doesn't have two heads. His hasty departure with a bulging suitcase forces Jane to turn to sympathetic friends and family, who have no idea they're being duped. A pregnancy pad swiped from a Harrods's dressing room helps her continue to fool them all. But Jane has to make the"little one" disappear when she finally meets the man of her dreams. He won't want to raise an imaginary child-will he? Wonderfully funny debut with a fine sense of the absurd and a flair for comic characterization.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373250592
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Thin Pink Line


By Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. All right reserved. ISBN: 0-373-25030-4

Chapter One

I didn't plan on getting pregnant, I swear, although I am certainly capable of going to great
lengths to get what I want. The way I figured it at the time, it was a combination of rare animal
passion and manufacturer's error. It does happen, you know. Surely, all of the world's
unplanned pregnancies can't be from people silly enough to engage in unprotected sex, can it?
Regarding the passion and the error, er, at least that was how things came about the first time I
was pregnant ... but then wasn't really.

Perhaps I'd better back up a bit and explain.

You see, Trevor and I had been to yet another friend's wedding that weekend, so of course I
was understandably depressed afterward. After all, I wasn't an au courant Singleton or even a
much maligned Smug Married, but rather, that lowest of the social lows, an inhabitor and
cohabitor of that famed female limbo, an Unholy Unmarried, or UU for short, which looks kind
of like a cow's udders when seen on the printed page, but perhaps that's neither here nor there.
Anyway, after the wedding, Trevor, being Trevor, since he knew he wasn't ready to ask me to
marry him but still wanted to make me feel better, had great sex with me.

It's always amazed me how often heartache and reallygreat sex go hand in hand. From what I
hear other women say, I think it must be different for them. Hell, sometimes I think everything
must be different for other people. But for me, the more melancholy, the bigger the bang. I
mean, if I'm actually happy, then I'm probably eating something and even letting myself enjoy it,
and sex is the furthest thing from my mind.

But back to Trevor, great sex and pregnancy.

So there we were, having great post-someone-else's wedding sex, and I was thinking how not only had everyone I knew been getting married lately, but they were even having babies as well,
when the thought occurred to me, What if I turned up pregnant? Well, no sooner did the
thought occur to me than Trevor hit my high note, prophylactic rubber barrier and all, and the
thought flew completely out of my mind.

Until I didn't get my period when it was due three weeks later.

Of course I told my best friend David - pronounced Duh-veed - right off the bat.

"But this is great news, is it not, Jane?" David asked in his overly precise English.

David lived upstairs from Trevor and me. Just over the minimum height requirement for the
Israeli military, in which he had served - I mean, they all do, right? Israelis, that is - he was a
regular spark plug. Given to wearing muscle T-shirts and early eighties-style blue jeans, as far as
I could see he was the sole item in the plus column for bringing back Jordache jeans. He also
had coils of black hair that, along with his bronzed skin, gave him a Semitic Caesar profile. A
former fighter pilot, make that gay fighter pilot, he was now trying to make a go of it as a chef in
his own trendy Covent Garden bistro, still in the planning stages.

"In the Israeli military, Jane, you both ask and tell, and you take gays and women and anyone
else who can handle an Uzi," he'd once told me over a shared bottle of Burgundy left over from
a boeuf bourguignonne that a lover of his had failed to show up to share.

When David suggested that my days-old pregnancy was great news, I found myself agreeing
with him. After all, it wasn't as though I had deliberately set out to snag Trevor, but this would
certainly do the trick. Trevor was such a Do-Right Dudley that he was sure to marry me.

At the time, I didn't even think about what an actual baby might actually mean.

I also didn't think about the emotional consequences of telling people other than the father
before I told the father. This was another one of those things that falls under the heading of I
Didn't Plan It That Way, But. In this case, the "but" had to do with how gleefully David had
received the news. (And him I'd only told about the news first because Trevor was away on
business in Singapore for the week.) Bowled over by how happy my pregnancy had made him,
I proceeded to tell a few more people. Oh, I didn't go overboard - well, maybe just a
bit - didn't do anything so silly as telling my mother or sister or even the girls at work, but I did tell
the Pakistani newsagent down the street ("Here, have some curry - it will bring good luck"), a
policeman who helped me jimmy my lock one night when I'd locked my bag in the flat ("You
can't be too careful at night now that there's two of you") and the odd stranger or two; so, just
enough to give me a taste of how the other half lives. Their combined reactions were enough to
make me start to experience a warm glow. I began to feel like, maybe, were I to miss out on
being pregnant, that I'd miss the potential for the world to be a rosy place.

Of course, never one to do anything by halves, I started to tail pregnant women. You couldn't
really call it stalking, but I did spend the Saturday just prior to Trevor's return trailing every
prego I happened to casually encounter, until I finally settled on one who looked so close to
delivery that I thought I might be called into service at any moment.

And it was amazing the things I learned! Following my quarry through a heavy doorway, I was
surprised to see a man who'd been walking ahead of both of us double back to hold the door
patiently for her until she'd squeezed her way through. I was still smiling my surprise when he let
the door go just in time to smack me in the face. Apparently, the fact that I didn't have the
equivalent of a sack of flour attached to the front of my body rendered me invisible or at least
not in need of any courtesy. Oh, well. As I followed her about her rounds that day, it wasn't
even so much the common courtesies she was shown that impressed me, although I was
damned shocked when the drunken old sot on the tube blearily yielded his seat to her so that
she could "rest yer Madonna feet, luv." No, it was more the mere fact that people actually
talked to her, all the time; perfect strangers who might step over their own mothers in the gutter
kept making comments and asking her questions in the most solicitous manner imaginable:
"When're you due?" or "Do you know yet if it's a boy or a girl?" or "Spring babies're always so
extra special - just like little sunny angels, they are," this last from the bleary old sot.

Why, it was as though someone had sprinkled pixie dust all over her! Her existence seemed that
enchanted, and I longed to find out if my bout with pregnancy would prove the same.

The only problem was that just as I was on the verge of telling Trevor, who had returned from his trip just in time to partake of the pre-celebratory Sunday dinner that was waiting for him, an
odd thing occurred. As I was teetering on the precipice of my new future, while serving up a
helping of the blanquette de veau that David had prepared for me to pretend to prepare, I felt
an unwelcome twinge of pain in my lower back.

"Fuckfuckfuck," I swore under my breath, just barely restraining myself from slamming the pot
back down on the stove.

"What was that, Jane?"

"Nothing," I informed Trevor, ignoring the twinge.

"Just a little back pain."

"Mmm," he said distractedly, still rifling through the post that had accumulated since he'd been
gone. "Perhaps you should take some Tylenol?"

"No, that's okay. I'm sure it will pass." I brightened.

"Ready to eat?"

Moments later, I eyed Trevor as he speared a piece of meat.

"Mmm, Jane, this is really great. It's always so wonderful when you take it into your head to do
the homemaker thing."

That sounded promising.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Thin Pink Line by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

A Letter from Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Meet Londoner Jane Taylor: 29 years old, living with her dull boyfriend, and still playing second fiddle to her gorgeous, pregnant, married younger sister. This year Jane has a bad case of pregnancy fever, and when her period is late, she sees an opportunity to be normal at last. With one stroke of a pink Magic Marker, Jane's fake pregnancy is underway, and the complications pile up fast and furiously. There's the boyfriend's departure; Jane's need to hide her smoking and drinking; the official baby shower; the dilemma of maternity clothes; the choice of the right gynecologist; the decision about labor pain. Then there's the ultimate complication: choosing between the man of her dreams and the "baby."

Told as a month-by-month diary, Lauren Baratz-Logsted's debut novel is an immensely appealing comedy of errors with a charming heroine just a little reminiscent of Bridget Jones.

Heart to Heart asked Baratz-Logsted to share some of the reactions and questions she's getting about her delightful new book.

Dear Readers,

When you write a British comedy about a woman who impersonates being pregnant for nine months in order to receive what she perceives as being her fair share of the attention pie, certain questions inevitably arise:

Was your own pregnancy real?
Yes, I really have been asked this one, and, thankfully, I have a three-year-old daughter to prove it. It wasn't easy, though, when I was actually pregnant and writing the book at the same time. People kept giving me…funny looks. It got so bad, I was tempted to carry a note in my purse from my gyno. As I say, though, I have the daughter now, so now I only get funny looks for everything else I do.

Why a British comedy?
Since I'm American, I do understand people being perplexed about this one. All I can say, in my own defense, is that I'm one of those writers who "hears voices." When I started writing The Thin Pink Line, the voice of Jane Taylor was so obviously British -- all you need do is read the first line for verification of that fact -- that I had no other choice. I only hope that Britain will one day forgive me.

Are you trying to set the women's movement back 20 years?
Yes, I really have been asked that one, too. The short answer: No. The slightly longer answer: What I set out to do was to write a dark comedy about someone who wants things in life -- marriage, kids -- more because "everyone else is doing it" than because she's given any concrete thought to what it all actually means. Haven't we all known people like that? The Thin Pink Line is not meant to be a prescription for behavior. On the contrary, if any of you kids try this at home, I'll be very disappointed in you, so put down those Magic Markers! I will say this, though, for Jane Taylor: She's figured out the perfect way of getting her figure back immediately after delivery. Now, then, if only I could figure out a way to get back mine…

What exactly do you think about romance?
I am for it. Truthfully, when the universe invented romance, it gave us one of the greatest gifts any of us will ever know. So have romance in your life; but, if at all possible, make sure you have Real Romance.

Happy reading,
Lauren Baratz-Logsted

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
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(11)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2006

    BUY THE BOOK!

    I couldn't recommend this book more! I believe it was the fastest I have moved through a book in a long time. No, not because it's mere 'fluff', but because I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I found the characters, both main and otherwise, to be well developed and memorable. This book definitely left me wanting more, which is why I'm going to be buying the sequel 'Crossing the Line' next. Get your copy, you won't regret it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2006

    It could've been a contender!

    I bought this book just based on it's odd premise. I was looking for something witty and charming and this book was...well untill the end. Here is Jane a 'herione' so ridulous you admire her selfishness and guts. You root for Jane to get away with this horrible often funny scheme but await the moment she gets caught. The book has tons of wit but loses it steam towards the end. It has a ridulous and boring subplot but since much isn't focused on it as it's an obvious 'I need to kill some pages' plot to begin with you don't mind it much. As I read this book it started out as a page turner but as I said it loses it steam and crashes pretty hard. How can a book so witty and charming end so disappointing? Basically that's all I could come up with... disappointing without giving away the ending. If you don't mind bad endings and looking for a quick read with some humor thrown in for 3/4 of the book I say go for it but you have been warned. The author needs to take her characters advice and get an editor who would've told her the ending was just too thin given how rich the rest of the book was. It could ve been a contender but it's knocked out by the 7th round.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2005

    Couldn't Get Into It

    I randomly picked this book out and I thought that it would be funny book to read. I hate to say it but, I couldn't even finish it because it was so boring. There were a few funny things in the book but I just couldn't get into it. I had to close the book in her fifth month.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2005

    SOOOO FUNNY!!!

    I have never in my life read a book that was so captivating and funny that I just literally could not put it down. All women in their 20's or 30's have to read this book. It's a story that you will want to read again and again!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2004

    Enchanting!

    Absolutely funny! Couldn't put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2004

    steph

    Great book. After reading so many of the new chick lit books and being sadly disappointed this was a nice change. Laugh out loud funny, and leaves you wondering about the sanity of the character but definatly worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2003

    Too hard to believe

    As a new mom, I found this storyline so difficult to get into. However, there were parts that were funny. Maybe before I was ever pregnant, I would have loved this book, but I just didn't.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    A jewel of laughter for any woman on your list

    Move over Bridget Jones. From the first pages I knew Lauren Baratz Logsted had written a jewel of chick lit. This hilarious fake pregnancy romp will make you hold your ribs with glee, even if you never considered having a baby. The thin pink line is that of the home pregnancy test pictured on the cover. Jane, a cunning British editor, refuses to give up her pregnant status right away when she discovers she is not having a baby after all. But whenever she tries to end the charade, peer pressure, financial considerations, unexpected circumstances and clever plot twists trap her deeper into the lie. Dreading discovery, Jane leads a complicated double life and even falls in love, all the while brazenly fooling attentive co-workers, friends, and close family. You want to laugh and you want to cry. You want to talk some sense into the misguided little darling. The story manipulates the reader into accepting the unbelievable. From fake sonograms to maternity clothes, padded tummy and baby showers, Jane makes her share of mistakes as well. On each page you expect the ticking bomb to explode, and you keep reading, to find out how Crazy Jane could possibly pull off this implausible stunt for yet another chapter. Is Jane mad? Certainly. Clever? Without a doubt. Human? Endearingly so. Are pregnancy symptoms a thing of the mind? Very possibly, as Jane feels them all. Eventually she succeeds in bringing her fake pregnancy all the way to the ninth month. But in the process, Jane also learned about babies and mothers, she re-evaluated her life, her career, her relationships. She now recognizes the value of true love and is finally willing to sacrifice to its altar. Although somewhat contrived, the surprise ending still tastes of serendipity. The perfect gift of laughter for any woman on your list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2003

    Hilarious

    The Thin Pink Line is laugh out loud funny. The best book since Bridget Jones' Diary. I can't wait for the movie as I could so vividly visualize most of the scenes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    Laugh out loud funny

    Brit Chick Lit at its very, very best! I loved the plot, loved the characters, and I especially loved the Kick the Cat scene (even though it was a really minor one, and not what it sounds like). Great for a beach book, a bathtub book, a 15-minutes til my lunch hour is over book, anything!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2003

    Thin Pink Line

    I absolutely loved Thin Pink Line. I thought it was a laugh out loud, well-written, extremely clever summer read! The dialog is hilarious, and is so extremely well written you can actually picture every scene as it unfolds. One scene that particularly made me LOL was Jane's luncheon with her mother, discussing the naming of her 'child'. -True, in the beginning, Jane is not the most likeable character; but I for one actually liked her.....I saw through her catty, annoying, lying, self-righteous, self absorbed facade. I enjoyed watching her evolve and could not wait to see her next antic. Baratz-Logsted wrote a very funny story, one that cannot be compared to....very inventive! - I can see it as a movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2003

    Thin Pink Line

    I absolutely loved Thin Pink Line. I thought it was a laugh out loud, well-written, extremely clever summer read! The dialog is hilarious, and is so extremely well written you can actually picture every scene as it unfolds. One scene that particularly made me LOL was Jane's luncheon with her mother, discussing the naming of her 'child'. -True, in the beginning, Jane is not the most likeable character; but I for one actually liked her.....I saw through her catty, annoying, lying, self-righteous, self absorbed facade. I enjoyed watching her evolve and could not wait to see her next antic. Baratz-Logsted wrote a very funny story, one that cannot be compared to....very inventive! - I can see it as a movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2003

    A surprisingly good read

    I'm not usually a fan of what could be called 'Chick-Lit' or 'Brit-com', just so that's clear. However, I was given an advance copy of The Thin Pink Line to read on a long flight and was very pleasantly surprised. First of all, the dialouge (one of my first criteria) is crisp, well written and sounds real in the mind's ear. Next, there are moments that are laugh-out-loud funny. The novel is very well paced and moves right along. The only criticism I may have, and this is purely from a personal point of view and has nothing to do with the writing, is that I found it very hard to sympathise in any meaningful way with Jane, the protagonist. However, if someone like me who doesn't read much along the lines of this sort of thing enjoyed it very much, I'm sure people who do will find that The Thin Pink Line stands head and shoulders above the rest.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An amusing tale

    When she is late, a condition that never happens to her, Jane assumes she has to be pregnant, which makes her elated. She spreads the word about her delicate condition and everyone especially her boyfriend treats her with care and dignity. However, a few days later her period arrives. Reluctantly, she knows she must tell everyone the truth, but besides her friends and colleagues thinking she is a bonehead, Jane enjoyed the pampering she received. She decides to say nothing and just pretend that she is pregnant.<P> However, Jane begins to learn the down side of her fake pregnancy, as she becomes a closet smoker and drinker since she cannot imbibe in public. She gives up her exercise class and has to fake symptoms. When her boyfriend learns of her sham, he leaves, but Jane continues with her con until the bittersweet best and worse that could happen to her occurs. Jane falls in love.<P> At first brush, readers will think THE THIN PINK LINE is a silly chick lit tale, but that would be a mistaken classification. Instead, the story is an amusing allegory on the importance of honesty and caring for others. Jane is a delightful key player whose web of lies proves more difficult to maintain with every passing moment. Readers should take a chance on something different as the morality lesson venue is cleverly interwoven inside a jocular plot.<P> Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2003

    Very nice!

    Jane is over the moon when she is late and decides that because she is never late, that she must be pregnant. Visions of wedding bells, etc. fill her head, and the world turns a rosy pink hue. Unfortunately, her period does arrive a few days later, meaning that all the dreams she has had are down the drain, and she will have to admit to everyone who has been so nice to her because of her condition that it was all a mistake. That does not make her very happy, so she decides to go through with being pregnant. ............ The results are interesting. Yes, people are nicer, but there are drawbacks. First off, she can no longer smoke or drink in public. There is no baby, so she has to work to be able to exhibit the symptoms that people are expecting. She has to give up her exercise classes, and Trevor, her boyfriend is not very happy with her, especially once he finds out the truth. ........... Trevor's leaving does not change the plan, though. Jane continues being 'pregnant,' receiving accolades for her bravery. There is yet another twist. She falls in love, and her new love does not have any idea she is 'expecting'. ......... The complications abound with every passing page, as does the bittersweet hilarity. Jane learns valuable lessons about honesty, love, and putting others ahead of herself before it is all over and done, but it will take a miracle to save her. ......... ***** This is an extraordinarily different book, one that will make you laugh and cry both. It also leaves you wondering, what happened. Jane is just a typical person, one you can almost identify with. She and her fellow cast members join the rising trend of characters who are not extraordinary, just people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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