Then Came You

Jennifer Weiner puts a new spin on the phrase “It takes a village…” in Then Came You.

Baby Rory has a tribe of mothers:

  • Jules, the egg-donor, a young Princeton beauty who needs the money for her father’s rehab;
  • Annie, the surrogate who needs money for her small family;
  • India, the forty-something mother, hiding a shady past, who is married to the older wealthy father;
  • Bettina, the rich step-sister, who has never recovered from her father remarrying a younger woman.

Each has a separate story that eventually connects when the baby is born, the father dies, the mother leaves town, and the twenty-something step-sister finds herself with custody and needing help.

Then Came You is about women working it out with and for each other in a sympathetic chick-lit drama.  Weiner weaves their stories together, and addresses the emotional issues of each woman through their backstories.  Lots of melodrama and angst – some humor – and an ending that looks like the prime time TV show “Modern Family.”

If you are a Weiner fan, you won’t be disappointed.

Would Jane Austen Tweet?

Aside from singer Roseanne Cash’s creation of the Twitter hashtag #JaneAustenAtTheSuperBowl, it’s unlikely that Jane herself would become addicted to the social media – but then, we’ll never know.  After enumerating the literary feuds famous writers verbally carry on, Jennifer Schuessler in her article for the New York Times, “In Book Circles, a Taming of the Feud,” dissects the Twitter campaigns that novelists wield against each other.

Can you be a fan of Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult, if you know they have been carrying on a Twitter campaign against Jonathan Franzen under the hashtag #Franzenfreude?  Even when you know Franzen is the better writer, Weiner and Picoult books offer a different emotional release that readers need now and then – don’t they know this?  On the other hand, Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize winner, seems a little catty criticizing the chicklit genre in her tweets.   Even a healthy eater needs chocolate now and then.

Eleanor Lipman sent me an email asking me to follow her twitter feed, as she posts a poem a day:

Starting today, I’m tweeting one poem per day (140 characters, natch) of a (partisan) political nature, from now until the 2012 election. They will be rhyming couplets, and, I hope, entertaining.

I discovered I could google “Elinor Lipman twitter” and get to her tweets without joining the ubiquitous network.

Why tweet?  Is it the electronic version of the haiku that can have as many letters as you can fit into 26 words?  Could anyone compete with an Ogden Nash limerick?  In her article, Schuessler says today’s tweeters require that “you don’t think about what you’re saying.”

I have not yet succumbed to the power of the tweet.  For the most part, it’s too hard to limit my idea to 140 characters – does that include commas?  If I did, I might tweet:

 If U want 2 know whatever pops into my head – what I think about anything – and U want my  insights/suggestions, even if I don’t know what I’m talking about -here is my advice

Oops – no more characters left.   Do you tweet?

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