Thursday 2 April 2009

Guyaholic / Carolyn Mackler

Summary - Natalie is on a bus trip to see her mother, who had abandoned her family four years earlier. On the way, she thinks about her confusing relationship with her boyfriend Adam and about her even more confusing relationship with her mother. Natalie also brushes up against various strangers who harbour their own stories of love and loss. Though she has a comfortable life in Connecticut, Natalie can’t forget the day her mother left or that her mother was on the verge of revealing something about love.

Review - V is the more vibrant and dominating character in Mackler's previous work, Vegan Virgin Valentine and it's great to see her have a story of her own. What I loved about revisiting this character is exploring why she behaved in certain ways throughout the previous book. Why she had the obscenity written over her fingers when she got off the plane. Why she resisted auditioning for musical theatre. What her life had been like with the nomadic, flighty Aimee.

Mackler has a talent for creating stories that mine the humour of a situation while exploring matters of the heart. While Sam is an important figure in Guyaholic (he loves V for her flaws), he isn't the heart of this tale. This story is ultimately about how many chances you can give a parent, how many times can you be cruelly deserted, before you write that person off?

That being said, V's journey and continual act of self-destruction grate after awhile. Yes, it is very realistic that a person lashes out, when another hurts them, but V's primarily driven by her libido. She will be missing Sam and then suddenly kissing another guy (and more) and I cannot help but wonder if she deserves Sam. Yes, she's been hurt, yes she's a product of non-parenting but does that justify her actions?

A great read, it is a Mackler after all, but I wouldn't say it's on par with the butt book that I love so dearly. Regardless, you need to give this a whirl.

Published: 2009
Format: Paperback, 203 pages
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Origin: USA


Alea said...

I have all three of her books I think you reviewed, must read! This version of the cover bothers me, why would a car be parked on something pink, a pink floor??!?!?

Luisa at Chicklish said...

This is the only Carolyn Mackler book I haven't read so I was really interested to read your review of it. Thank you!

Janssen said...

Definitely my least favorite of her books.