Monday, March 11, 2013

The Trials of Tiffany Trott by Isabel Wolff

Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥

Where have all the Good Men gone?

A Brit Sex in the City. I'm not going to do the regular He/She/Conflict summary for this one because the "she" is a late-thirties Everywoman (good-hearted, attractive, smart, wonderful, been hurt by love before) and the "he", like Mr. Big, is more of a concept than an actual person and anyway the story is a Scheherazade's tale of multiple He's. And the conflict is that there are just no Good Men out there. 

Well-written, and sometimes rump-thumpingly hilarious. But you know, I was really exhausted about halfway in. It was just one bad date after another. Maybe the author was kind of representing the sheer desperation of the cause so that by the end of it we, like the h, wish she would just BLOODY FIND SOMEONE ALREADY. 

“Better single than badly accompanied,” someone declares in the book. And you wince, dear Skeptic, because you know she's only saying that to be brave. The h doesn't really believe that and it's just sad. 

The formula for these things is usually a variant of "the rule of threes" thing. One guy that's all wrong, one that's too "right" and one that seems wrong but is totally right. Maybe introduce another for some high jinks. But there must have been 15 in this one. And I can't tell from the kindle book, but is this book especially long? Also, could it be that I am just projecting? Was I emotionally too zapped by the thought of one of my deserving sisters out there looking and looking and just not finding that I put up walls? I will think carefully about the possibility.

The book ends in an interesting way. But instead of being piqued and intrigued, I was thinking ye gods, not AGAIN. 

It was fun for what is was of course, but I often wonder about books and movies that show women as nothing more than almost-marrieds. It's as if she's just skirting through life waiting to get hitched. Surely there is a better way to live. Like if the h were to construct a life as if she were never going to get married, like she's the star of the show, and marriage becomes an awesome "bonus" and not her "entire life's purpose."

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