Archive for June, 2008|Monthly archive page

This is Chick-Lit

Karen Siplin is a new author for the libraries, but according to her website, she has written two previous novels and compiled an anthology of short stories entitled This Is Chick-Lit. I’m glad I read Whiskey Road: A Love Story before I looked at her website, since I’m one of those who tend to look down their noses at “chick-lit” for no apparent reason.

Jimi Hamilton, a member of the L. A. paparazzi, is fleeing her job on a brand new BMW motorcycle until she is robbed. She limps her way into the small rural New York town of Darby. As she goes into the only diner in town, she meets with a cool reception. Have they never seen a young black woman in black leather pants, jacket and boots, with a pink chunk of painted hair above her face, a gash on her forehead, a busted lip, covered in bruises and limping? A Small town contractor, a tattooed and scarred young man with a scary look about him, and native of adjoining small town Frenchman’s Bend, Caleb Atwood is interested in what he sees and doesn’t feel the hostility toward this stranger that the other diner denizens seem to emanate. A few miles down the road, Caleb picks Jimi up in his pickup and drops her off at the Inn at Frenchman’s Bend.

Over the next few days, these two troubled souls think about each other seemingly without stopping while denying to themselves that it could possibly be true. As they “accidentally” meet at the Fifth Amendment, they play word games with each other avoiding telling lies and avoiding telling complete truths.

Caleb was raised rough and lowbrow, and Jimi was raised “posh” and highbrow. These two characters are well-drawn, but some of the other characters are rather ill-defined. Overall, the story is an excellent read for those of us who enjoy character driven plots. There is some strong language and some violence that many readers will not appreciate. If you want to read something a little different from your typical Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts, etc. reading, this is a good one to try. Check her website: to find her other books, biographical notes, and interests.