Friday, March 21, 2008

Little White Lies

I was in need of a romantic fix, so I picked up Gemma Townley’s Little White Lies. Townley and Shopaholic’s Sophie Kinsella (Madeleine Wickham) are actually sisters, and they both excel in the “Chick Lit” genre. Kinsella’s books have better-developed characters and plots than White Lies, but Townley has the formula down.

White Lies' Natalie Raglan moves to London and finds herself alone and lonely. She’s jealous of the mail and phone calls Cressida, who used to live in Natalie’s flat, still receives and starts opening the letters. In a drunken stupor, Natalie calls Simon—one of Cressida’s contacts—and passes herself off as Cressida.

Not surprisingly, I found Natalie’s lies and deceptions frustrating, painful, and completely unnecessary. Then again, I always thought white lies were telling a friend you like her top and not assuming someone else’s identity.

Ultimately, Natalie and Simon fall in love with lightening speed, but she risks that relationship with her lies and an obligatory, Three’s Company-like eavesdropping scene.

Of course, in fine generic tradition, despite Natalie’s deceptions and mistakes, she ends up on top both professionally and romantically. Little White Lies is far from a literary masterpiece, but it does give love junkies a nice romantic fix.

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