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The Resource Bookends : a novel, Jane Green

Bookends : a novel, Jane Green

Label
Bookends : a novel
Title
Bookends
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Jane Green
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and--since she had her heart broken a few years back--emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London's West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid. All's well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend--the stunningly beautiful Portia, who's known for breaking hearts. Though they've grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome's friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store. Fortunately, Cath has plenty to take her mind off Portia's schemes--like her gutsy decision to leave her job in advertising to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore. And then there's James, the sexy real-estate agent who keeps dropping by even after the bookstore deal is done. With his irresistible smile and boyish charm could he be the one to melt Cath's heart?
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Green's third novel to be published in the U.S. concerns the plight of four friends in their thirties. Cath, Simon, and Josh have been friends since college. Josh married Lucy, and they have a son, Max; Simon is desperately looking for Mr. Right; and Cath is shirking relationships altogether and dreaming of owning her own bookstore. When Lucy proposes that she and Cath make that dream a reality, Cath decides to take a chance: she leaves her boring but stable job, and she and Lucy find a location for the bookstore and begin to renovate it. Meanwhile, Simon has met a man, Will, but Cath finds him pretentious and condescending. Cath herself is receiving attention from James, the gorgeous real estate agent who sold her and Lucy the space for the bookstore, but she's not sure she wants to get involved. Then they find out that Portia, a gorgeous former friend of theirs who broke Josh's heart in college, may be after him again. When Cath finally gives in and goes out to dinner with James, she spots Josh and Portia together at the restaurant and fears the worst. As always, Green's characters are winning and fun and her plot entrancing. For the many fans of her previous novels, Jemima J [BKL Ap 1 00] and Mr. Maybe [BKL Mr 15 01]. (Reviewed March 15, 2002) -- Kristine Huntley
  • Popular British author Green (Jemima J and Mr. Maybe ) follows up her two hits with a less sparkling effort that examines the intricacies of enduring friendships. In college 10 years ago, "a small group of misfits"—dowdy Catherine, gay Simon, cute naïf Josh and his object of affection, the regally beautiful Portia—were best friends. After a messy split from Portia, the others have continued their friendship without her. While promiscuous Si and celibate Cath have lousy luck with men, Josh is happily married to earthy Lucy. The members of the tightly knit quartet commiserate about extra body weight, job dissatisfaction and the search for love, but are basically content—until Portia reenters their lives and threatens their stability. Green touts her return as almost sinister, but the forecasted tornado ends up a mere zephyr. The novel opens with a promising bang, only to peter out before fulfilling its potential. Green has a knack for creating both atmosphere and characters that ring true, but the dialogue is sometimes strangely stilted and does little to propel the oft-meandering plot. There are some bright spots, like Cath's blossoming relationship with dreamboat James, but they are too few and far between to steady the pace. (June 11) Forecast: Bookends was a London Times bestseller and, based on the success of its predecessors here—including Mr. Maybe, which appears simultaneously in paper—her audience will forgive her this miss and still pick it up for the beach. Major ad/promo; author appearances in New York and Connecticut. --Staff (Reviewed May 6, 2002) (Publishers Weekly, vol 249, issue 18, p33)
  • In her follow-up to Jemima J and Mr. Maybe , Green once again takes on the world from a youngish single woman's perspective, but this time with a slightly larger cast of characters. Though primarily Catherine's story, this novel also includes Josh, Cath's married friend; his wife and son; and Simon, Cath's (somewhat stereotypically) homosexual best friend. They all met at school, where the perfect, rich Portia was their idol. Though she eventually toppled off her pedestal, the others have maintained their broken circle. Fast-forward a few years, and Portia resurfaces. Thus, Cath must deal with the best friend whose loss she never really got over while also achieving her dream of opening a bookstore and finally availing herself of love. This novel is touted as Green's next, more mature step, but it's not that original or interesting. Cath is a frustrating character, and the dialog is uninspired and generic. The only inspired stroke is Portia; she's a much more intriguing character than any of the others. Recommended for libraries with large popular fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/02.]—Amanda Glasbrenner, New York --Amanda Glasbrenner (Reviewed April 15, 2002) (Library Journal, vol 127, issue 7, p125)
  • With more warmth and fuzziness than Harrod's sweater department, up-and-comer Green (Mr. Maybe, 2001, etc.) offers a near-perfect—and near perfectly clichÉd—romantic wish-fulfillment fantasy, complete with perfect gay best friend, perfect bookshop, perfect Hugh Grant–like love object, and perfectly coy tricks to keep the lovers apart for 400 pages.Cathy (wisecracking, frizzy hair, slightly overweight, can't be bothered with makeup), Josh, and Si all met at university, when the center of their circle was elegant, stunning, Portia. All changed when Portia seduced Josh just so somebody else couldn't have him, then walked away. Ten years later, Josh has married perfect wife and mother Lucy. Cath—long celibate but content to spend her free time in the warm glow of her perfect kitchen with best friend Si—has a successful advertising career. And nobody has seen Portia since graduation. When Lucy, the best cook in London, proposes that she and Cath open a bookstore/cafÉ, they meet charming real-estate agent James, who, as it happens, is also a brilliant painter. Everything is perfectly lovely, studded with long cozy brunches and dinners, until the shop opens and Portia, now a celebrity TV writer, walks back into their lives. From there, Green pushes forward her scenes that slather on the coziness "like layers of snuggly warm clothes" with glaringly obvious plot-teasers (Did Portia come back for Josh? Is James sleeping with the sexy au pair? Will James forgive Cath for canceling their date? Will Si realize that his arrogant boyfriend is a bastard?) that could be resolved with a phone call but aren't. Even the one bit of grim reality (Si turns up HIV-positive), used first to keep Cath and James apart a bit longer, turns into an opportunity for true love and another dinner party.For a certain middle-of-the-road, book-loving, romantic sensibility, a perfect escape novel. Despite its off-the-charts predictability, only the coldest of hearts will not be warmed. (Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2002)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
067666
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1968-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Green, Jane
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Young adults
  • Friendship
  • Hampstead (London, England)
Target audience
general
Label
Bookends : a novel, Jane Green
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
358 p.
Isbn
9780767907804
Lccn
2001-43815
System control number
(OCoLC)ocm48046014
Label
Bookends : a novel, Jane Green
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
358 p.
Isbn
9780767907804
Lccn
2001-43815
System control number
(OCoLC)ocm48046014

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