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The Anglophile    by Laurie Gwen Shapiro order for
by Laurie Gwen Shapiro
Order:  USA  Can
Red Dress Ink, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

Thirty-five year old graduate student Shari Diamond has a passion for all things British, including tall, pasty men from 'Across the Pond.' She meets Kit Brown at a Chicago linguistics conference. He's her kind of guy, but after the two spend an afternoon together, Shari realizes that he is also her biggest competitor in her field of study. In order to complete her PhD dissertation, Shari has spent the past four years trying to locate a farmer in New York, whom she believes to be the last-known speaker of an esoteric language that is close to extinction. It looks like Kit has 'pulled the rug' out from underneath Shari's years of research. Ouch!

Clearly, there is more to Kit than meets the eye but Shari is attracted, despite the fact that her dissertation will probably need to be scrapped. She abruptly dumps her 'nice Jewish boyfriend' and takes Kit up on an offer to accompany him on a fully paid trip to London. When the duo unexpectedly run into Owen, a mild, unassuming classmate from Shari's childhood, she's baffled to realize that Kit and Owen went to Oxford together and seem to hate each other. Though Owen was a docile child, he and Kit clearly can't stand each other. Shari begins to wonder if Kit really is the person he claims to be.

Understandably, Shari is reeling over her feelings for Kit and the fact that she has spent the last four years working on her dissertation for naught. The book clips along in a breezy, chick-lit fashion that will keep readers turning pages rapidly, although the latter half of the story is wrapped up rather speedily and in a predictable way. That said, The Anglophile is an engrossing, fun read - and snippets of Shari's eccentric Jewish family (including Aunt Dot and her passion for pet skunks) are laugh-out-loud funny.

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