I have been reading the new Jennifer Weiner book, Certain Girls, that goes on sale tomorrow. It picks up where Good in Bed left off, following Cannie years down the road after the success of her book, Big Girls Don't Cry (which is the book she writes to get back at Bruce Guberman). Her daughter, Joy, born prematurely back in Good in Bed (remember the pushing scene?) is now turning 13, hating her mother and trying to figure out what is real and what is fiction about her conception and early years from Big Girls Don't Cry. Along the way, Peter decides he wants another child and post-hysterectomy Cannie turns to surrogacy (you knew there had to be an IF theme floating around there somewhere).
It is definitely IF-lite. The surrogacy storyline is tucked into the larger book somewhat like an errand to be run before the end of the day. But to be honest, it didn't matter. Isn't it funny--I bitch about talk show hosts not covering IF correctly, but it rolls off my back when I encounter it in Jennifer Weiner's book. And perhaps it is because I like Cannie so much that when she declares the viability of her eggs simply by an antral follicle count (I know, don't you wish? Though a doctor who shows you antral follicles and declares, "those are your eggs!"...) I want to simply stroke her hand and smile and say, "that rocks!" rather than deliver a list of 70 questions starting with, "did your doctor do any day-3 blood work?" and ending with "doesn't your clinic do any psychological screens before they allow you into the surrogacy program? Have you considered a private therapist?"
I think why I love this book and why I will always purchase Jennifer Weiner's books is for what she does so well. She makes you care. She makes you want to know what will happen next with each character and worry about them and laugh with them and cheer with them. And frankly, it's a rare author who makes me wish that I could walk alongside the character too and know what happens to them well into the future.
If you could choose one character from any book to start a blog (and who would update the blog daily) and follow along with their story long after the book ends, who would it be and why?
Along with a host of characters from Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go and Milo from The Phantom Tollbooth, Cannie was high on my list. So it is nice to hear what has happened years into the future with Cannie and Joy and Peter and even slimy Bruce. This book should be in every beach bag this summer and we should consider covering it with the Barren Bitches Book Brigade.