Saturday, October 18, 2008

Broad Street by Christine Weiser

As I may have mentioned before, I'm not a fan of chicklit, but, having read and enjoyed Broad Street, that may change.

For a debut novel, Ms. Weiser's Broad Street is very readable, with good character development and characters for whom I came to care a great deal, an interesting and in-parts quite amusing story, and a writing style that was at times almost elegant. It could have used one more go-through by a copy editor, but otherwise was tightly written but for one minor yet puzzling glitch early on that threw me right out of the story until I decided to ignore it and went on reading. Also, I thought that the very last paragraph (prior to the Epilogue) kind of fizzled (though I won't say more about either because I don't want my review to contain any spoilers).

Other than that, I found a lot to like in the story of Kit Greene, heartbroken and filled with self-loathing after her long-time philandering boyfriend dumps her for another woman. It isn't a spoiler to say that the ex, Dale, a singer in a rock band, is a pretty sleazy character from whom she is well parted, though she isn't quite ready to realize that yet. At a party to which a well-meaning friend persuades her to go, she meets the beautiful Margo, whose current boyfriend Pete is also a singer in a rock band, as well as being about as irritatingly immature and sleazy as Dale. Kit and Margo get drunk together while engaging in a sad bit of male-bashing, and make a pact to start an all-girls rock band of their own, though neither of them are musicians.

What happens in the following months might seem predictable, but it's still fun to follow Kit, who turns out not to be as helpless and self-pitying as she seemed, as she and Margo form their band, scrape together money to hire a place where they can practice, and then find gigs. It would have been particularly fun if I either lived in or came from Philly, where all the action takes place. In fact, I've never been to Philadelphia before, but, after Broad Street, I almost feel as if I know the city.

I won't go further so as not to spoil this for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but I will say that it's well worth the time it took to read, and I will be be looking for more by Christine Weiser in the future. Oh, yeah, and I'll be loaning my copy to my 25-year old daughter who currently lives in NYC and is in theater.

Finally, congratulations to Elizabeth who is the winner of the drawing for a copy of Broad Street. Thanks to everyone who commented and entered the giveaway; I only wish I had enough copies to give to all of you! (But, if you are interested in reading this, you can request it by joining Early Reviewers at

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