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    Review of SUSHI FOR BEGINNERS by Marian Keyes

    William Morrow, 2003

    Lisa Edwards has busted her tail in the magazine business and now she's ready for the big move--to New York and one of the world's top magazines. Instead, she gets shuffled to Ireland to start a new magazine with little hope, little concept, and almost no money. Her bosses even assign her an assistant editor who can't write and who seems to need to fix everything.

    Assistant Editor Ashling Kennedy is still on the rebound from her last boyfriend and from losing a job over a bad recipe for stain remover. She's excited about her new job, until she meets Lisa the perfect bitch. Both women have problems with the men in their lives, both live to shop (although Lisa is a lot better at it). In an odd and somewhat unhealthy way, the two actually bond.

    Author Marian Keyes (see more reviews of novels by Keyes) knows the chick-lit field and writes it with fine nuance. SUSHI FOR BEGINNERS is sometimes funny and sometimes touching. Neither Lisa nor Ashling are especially admirable, or even sympathetic, but their increasingly heart-felt suffering makes them stand out.

    The novel touches on the issues of depression and homelessness, weaving these serious subjects seamlessly into fashion, discussions of where else to wear hair conditioner, and ongoing competition among women for the few good (and even not-so-good) men to be had.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 8/30/03

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