Review of THE WAITRESS by Melissa Nathan
Avon Trade, May 2005
Katie Simmonds got her degree from Oxford, then froze, unable to decide what to do with her life. Or rather, she decides what to do--for a day or two. Her roommate has helped her write sixty resumes, for the dream of the moment. In the meantime, she and her actor-best friend Sukie work as waitresses in a cheap cafe. When Katie finally meets her dream man, she is torn with indecision, unable to talk to him at all, and bolts halfway through their dinner date. She doesn't dream that Dan the dream man is about to come the new owner of the cafe--and her new boss.
Katie wrestles with her growing attraction for Dan, and with her self-doubts and concerns for her future. In the meantime, Sukie tries to get acting jobs, Matt the dishwasher falls for beautiful and perfect Jennifer, and brainless waitress Patsy flirts with equally brainless (but talented) chef Nik. Adding to Katie's problems, though, Dan has gone back to his old girlfriend--and that girlfriend quickly makes the right noises to move from girlfriend to fiancee.
Author Melissa Nathan (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Nathan) keeps the laughs coming as Katie and Sukie turn being super-rude waitresses into something that appeals to the crowds, as Katie wards off advances from drunk ex-boyfriend Hugh, and as Matt wrestles with overgrown pimples that erupt just as he is about to enter into the perfect date with beautiful Jennifer.
Too often, it seems like the world expects the twenty-something to know what to do. But school, even a degree from Oxford, can offer precious little practical direction--and it is easy to become trapped in a job. Of course, sometimes that job-trap can actually become something more.
Fans of humorous England-set chick-lit will definitely want to add this one to their must-read list.
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