Friday, July 18, 2008

Little Stalker

The last book I read by Jennifer Belle was Going Down, a novel about a woman turning tricks to pay her way through college. It was satisfying in that chick lit way, fun and funny, fast-paced, and a little silly. I missed her next book, High Maintenance, though I think I'll go back and read that one now. 2007's Little Stalker surprised me; Belle's writing has really come into it's own.

Rebekah Kettle has been obsessed with the films of Arthur Weeman since she was a child, attending the 10am showing of each one on opening day and always sitting in the same seat. This appears to be the only stable consistant aspect of her life. Her family is disjointed, and her love life unsuccessful. She wrote a successful novel years ago, but has been unable to follow it up. Rebekah befriends an elderly woman named Mrs Williams and soon discovers that from Mrs. Williams' apartment, she can see into Arthur Weeman's window. She begins writing him letters as 13-year-old Thalia, and spies on him to find that he is taking her comments and suggestions to heart, until their lives intersect in a way that neither of them could have predicted.

Rebekah is a fantastically imperfect character, neurotic, stubborn, and witty. Belle has crafted a story that rises far above her first novel. I love chick lit, but this isn't it - this is just great fiction from an author who has sadly been overlooked.


In other female author news, Jennifer Weiner has been profiled in the July 2008 issue of Current Biography. You can read it here. It seems that In Her Shoes is not the last of her books to be made into a movie and, even more excitingly, Weiner has signed a contract to develop and produce shows for ABC! Anyway, it's a great article about one of my favorite writers, so you should totally check it out.

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