These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen
Published by Washington Square Press
Cate and Renee are good friends and roommates, and have both moved to New York to pursue their careers – currently they’re both working at the high fashion magazine, Gloss. After being named the features editor for the magazine, Cate is excited but super nervous, and it only takes a few days for her to realize that she’s signed up for more than she’d ever imagined. Renee would love a promotion like Cate’s, and in her desperation to lose a few extra pounds to “look the part” she starts popping diet pills like candy. The two of them take in a third roommate, Abby, who has abruptly left her job as a nanny and seems incredibly traumatized by something, although she reveals nothing to Cate or Renee. The three of them become closer over the course of the novel, and it is their friendship that gets them through some of the toughest times in all of their lives.
I liked this book a lot, and raced through it while on vacation. It was perfect beach reading – not too heavy, but certainly not light either. The three girls in this novel are dealing with very different issues, and I felt for each of them. Cate’s struggles to fit in as a woman in a man’s world and the difficulty she had in navigating her new leadership role really resonated with me – I’ve dealt with a lot of the same things in my own career (and continue to do so). Renee’s weight issue is something that most women can relate to – what woman hasn’t dealt with feelings of not fully being happy with herself physically? And truthfully, I felt for Abby the most. Even though her story is the farthest thing from my own life, I really got her character the most and my heart just broke for her.
Pekkanen does a really great job writing female friendships. She showed how much these women leaned on one another, how that friendly face when you get home from an awful day can just mean SO much. I haven’t lived with a roommate since college but reading this book really brought me back to those days – coming home after school or work or a combination of both and my roommates would be there, ready with a glass of wine, our favorite TV show just about to start, and a listening ear to hear me bitch about whatever terrible thing happened that day. I have such fond memories of those days and Pekkanen really captured those feelings and that particular period in time perfectly.
I really liked this book! It’s my second Pekkanen and I think it’s my favorite of the two. I’m excited to read more of her novels!