Sunday, November 19, 2006

Talk Gertie To Me, Lois Winston

I want to send a HUGE thank you to Charity this month. While I have been toiling away in NaNo land, she has been busy keeping the reviews rolling. Honestly, I don't have a clue what I'd do without her, and I'm glad I don't have to find out! THANKS CHAR!!

Talk Gertie To Me by Lois Winston is another one of my New Jersey Conference buys. If you've never been to the New Jersey Romance Writer's Conference, you really need to get there one year. While I loved the workshops and meeting so many people, it is worth it just for the Saturday afternoon Book Fair. You get to meet all sorts of wonderful authors, and buy LOTS and LOTS of great books, like this one. Now on to the review...

Nori Stedworth grew up in Ten Commandments, Iowa. That in no way prepared her for life in the big city. And I do mean the BIG city, as in - Manhattan. Nori moves there, well, escapes to there, really, in a drastic bid to gain some independence from her sometimes over-bearing family. They expected her to stay in TC, marry the local mortician, and have a house full of kids. Nori heads off to NY instead, gets a job at a dot-com, and finds herself a boyfriend and an eclectic group of friends.

As the story gears up, Nori loses her job, her man and her best friend in the same afternoon. If that's not enough to bring a girl to tears, her mom shows up on her stoop. How's a girl to cope? Enter Gertie, Nori's brash, semi-annoying friend from childhood. Did I mention that Gertie is imaginary? Yeah, well, she is. Gertie may be all in Nori's head, but her voice is louder than most anything else. When Nori finally starts listening to Gertie, things start getting better for her.

How do things get better? Well, I won't tell you that. You'll just have to pick this book up and find out, won't you? You better say "Why yes, I think I will," or you will really be missing out! Suffice it to say that Gertie has very strong opinions about a good many things, and when Nori starts channeling Gertie, people need to run for cover. Gertie rants about everything from cleanliness to toilet seats, and her voice is witty and true. Trust me on this one though, don't try drinking anything while reading this book. Gertie will have you snorting coffee through your nose!

Things I liked:
- The POV changes from Nori to her mom, Connie. Both voices are fresh and fun. You can actually get a feel for both of these women, and they are both so believable!
- The secondary characters rock! Nori's friends are the sort of people you want to be around. They are supportive, but not overpowering. Honestly, if you don't see some of your own best friend in Nori's friends, you need to start looking for some new friends.
- There were so few editing errors that I didn't get distracted at all. You know how much this bothers me when it happens, so to find so few (actually I can't remember any, but I also can't find my scoresheet, so I can't say there aren't any) was a real treat for me.
- The resolution was not as predictable as you may expect. Yes, things happen the way they're supposed to, of course, but you can't see everything coming a mile away. Nothing was so shocking that it put me off, but it was nice not to be able to guess exactly how things would happen.

Things I didn't like:
- ummmm, well... it wasn't long enough? That's about it. And at 305 pages, that's really not a valid complaint. There wasn't anything that made me go "Uh, yeah, right!". Nothing that made me want to toss it against the wall. Nothing that made me want to put it down. It was a fun, fast read, and it left me wanting more.

Lois Winston has a great site that features an excerpt from this book, as well as links to places where you can purchase it. I encourage you to stop by her site and check it out. You won't be sorry.

Keep turning those pages!

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