Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sorta Shidduch Lit

Anything by Austen is automatic Shidduch Lit, because it describes a time when courtship and marriage consisted of rules and regulations ("dating" was strictly for marriage, etc.). Yet I have read two books that tackle the other aspect of coupledom—the thought processes, the motivations, why we choose. 

The first is a recommendation from TooYoungToTeach, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. I know it's quite a mouthful, and I'm sure I'm mispronouncing "Guernsey."
It is a collection of "letters" (this is a novel) between various individuals (as well as our delightful heroine, Juliet) in post-World War II Britain, as the nationals were brushing off the dust of catastrophe and plowing forward into the future. It's historical enough that "dating" still had some restrictions, so we can work with that. 

The second is a recommendation from an anonymous commenter on my post swooning over Liane Moriarty: The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes. It takes place in contemporary Dublin, and there are certainly no rules and regulations to be seen. Cough, cough, this book is definitely UA ("Un-Aidel").
A few, not just one, couples are featured in this book, and their specific personalities and quirks are described in but a few words. Their needs as individuals, and how that would play out in a relationship . . . mesmerizing. 

There was also a message embedded in there that is my (newish) mantra: You can't make others change. They have to get there on their own. You can only change yourself. (Another reminder to the optimistic souls who think they can heal broken, angry men with their love.)     

I was offended to see that goodreads parks Keyes' work under chick-lit. How insulting and derogatory. 

What is very important to note is that both books are quite funny while still relaying seriousness. Humor and wit are my catnip. 


Daniel Saunders said...

It's Gurn-see to rhyme with turn-free.

I think my sister and my Mum like Marian Keyes.

Anonymous said...

Brightest Star was my rec, so I'm glad you enjoyed it:)
I agree, I wouldn't classify Keyes as chick-lit exactly, but she really was the forerunner of it when her first book was published. A couple of years later, Sophie Kinsella exploded on the scene (not a fan, though her first book was fresh and funny at the time) and that's when chick lit really took off. So it's more of a compliment than an insult to categorize her as such since she pretty much pioneered the genre.
Guernsey was a good read, though I wouldn't have thought to categorize it as shidduch-lit exactly! JMO, though.
If you want more Austen/shidduch style books, Edith Wharton is probably the closest you'll get. Her books are surprisingly modern in regards to relationships, considering the era in which they were set/written. I personally prefer her to Jane Austen, though her books don't have the humor or wit of an Austen book.

Anonymous said...

Dear Princess Lea,

The section of this blog called "My Blog List" contains 72 blogs that have not been updated in one year or more.

Jedi Master Yoda

PS: Did you know that Carrie Fisher died?
Her death were never mention on this web site.

Princess Lea said...

Thank you, DS. Of course you would be the perfect person to correct my pronunciation.

Anon: "Chick-lit" tends to have light, fluffy connotations, don't you think? Books full of espionage and war aren't designated as male-specific, after all. I'm not saying men should line up to read Moriarty or Keyes, but why can't a book just be a book?

I'm not crazy about Wharton. I have tried two of hers and was underwhelmed. Sometimes there is a quote or two in there apropos to the modern age, but otherwise . . . it's aright.

Like I said, "Sorta Shidduch Lit."

Anonymous said...

Dear Princess Lea,

Did you know that Carrie Fisher,
the actress who played Princess Lea
in Star Wars, was 5 feet 1 inch tall?

Jedi Master Yoda