August 25th, 2011
A book for wedding hangovers
If you're a girl-adult who goes to bridal showers drunk, loathes pastel with a superhuman passion and wonders whatever happened to, like, dating: someone wrote you a book.
The generally acclaimed debut novel from Jennifer Close, Girls in White Dress, isn't as (terrible word alert) chick-litty as you'd think. Sure, the cosmopolitan one-liners can feel lifted from a certain '90s HBO show. But her interconnected short stories, tracing familiar patterns of post-graduate ennui and reluctant maturity among New York twenty-somethings, have a welcome and sardonic honesty. There's a dark thread in all the air-light dresses, seen by Close as more economic burden than feminine pleasure. If you tug a little, it unravels a hard knowing: happiness doesn't get easier, and getting older sometimes just feels like getting less young.
This isn't a beach read, but a transitional one, for girls between seasons. —Sarah Nicole Prickett