Monday, August 24, 2009

Title Fifty Eight: Being Committed by Anna Maxted

Yes, again with the British chick lit. You shut your mouth when you're talking to me.

Hannah Lovekin prides herself on her lack of emotion; she believes that it makes her a good detective, and serves her well enough in her private life. The first sign of trouble comes when her boyfriend, Jason, proposes to her on a hotel bathroom floor, and she turns him down. This leads him to turn around and propose to his neighbor Lucy, which then makes Hannah decide she wants him back, even though he's kind of a puss. "Encouraged" by her father Roger to reconcile with Jason, Hannah goes through a sort of test course proposed by Jason in order to facilitate a reunion - she needs to be more feminine (the novel is written in the first person, and the description of a Brazilian had me putting down the book so that I could wipe away tears of laughter), she needs to learn to cook, she has to attend therapy in order to be more emotionally open, and she needs to find some closure with her ex-husband, Jack. The last proves the most difficult, since Jack left Hannah five months after they got married, at age twenty, because he believed that she cheated on him. Hannah has to spin a complicated web when she realizes that she's still in love with Jack, but needs to break off her engagement to Jason - he asked again after the Brazilian and the spray tan and the haircut and the dinner she made - in a delicate manner and return him to Lucy.

Things start to fall apart. Lies begin to spread, and with them truths come out. Memories of her own mother's affair, twenty-five years earlier, start pushing their way into Hannah's brain. She begins to see the people around her for who they really are: her parents, her brother Oliver and his wife Gabrielle, Jack, and her best friend Martine. Hannah starts feeling and it freaks her right the fuck out, but there's nothing she can do about it, and she finally begins to grow up.

Being Committed, like Maxted's other books, is a fast, fun read with a great central theme and a well-developed cast of characters. As the story branches out, it never becomes unwieldy; it just seems to evolve naturally. Maxted mixes humor with levity and creates an overall enjoyable experience. I dig it, and I'll read it again. And again.

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