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Straight Talking    by Jane Green order for
Straight Talking
by Jane Green
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2003 (1997)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Tasha cannot believe that she is still single at thirty. She has her own flat, a wonderful group of friends, and is a successful television producer. She just can't seem to find someone with whom she feels a connection, and who is willing to stay with her for the long term. Fortunately, Tasha has a great group of girlfriends who are there through thick and thin. Andrea has passionate one-week love affairs. Mel has a live-in boyfriend who treats her like dirt, and makes passes at all of her friends and acquaintances. Emma and Richard have been together for years, but he's commitment-phobic and avoids conversations about marriage like the plague. The four women get together regularly for meals and some serious Straight Talking.

Tasha has just come out of a nine month relationship with Simon. As she hashes over the affair with her friends and her therapist, Tasha discovers that she is purposely choosing men who will leave her. She finds out that her best male friend, Adam, is in love with her. Tasha enjoys his friendship, but does not feel heart-pounding passion for him. Now, a decision must be made. Is she willing to give up feelings of lust for a long term commitment? Or are the two components both necessary to make it work?

Jane Green, the forerunner of the chick-lit genre, got her start with this novel. It was originally released in the UK and has just been reissued for America to enjoy; readers have the opportunity to see where it all began. Straight Talking is emotionally authentic and true to life. Readers can't help but grow as they suffer through mistakes with Tasha. I found myself cringing at her break-up with Simon; their actions and reactions very much mirrored my own trials and tribulations. At times,Tasha made me very angry. I wanted her in front of me so I could tell her a few things about growing up and living in the real world! Since the novel is written in first person in a conversational tone, I felt like Tasha could actually be here in my home for a bit of advice and discussion.

I knew that Tasha would experience some sort of a-ha! moment where she would realize that life cannot be lived on feelings alone. I was quite skeptical about whether or not I would believe it when it happened, because Tasha is very adamant about her feelings. But when it does occur, the moment is natural and extremely satisfying. Chick-lit and romance lovers will delight in Straight Talking. If you haven't tried a book by Jane Green yet, this is a great place to start.

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