Sweet Bitter by Stephanie Danler

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“I’m going to throw up”

We all agreed.

“Nightcap?”

We all agreed.

The bill was nothing and the table destroyed. We left a pile of cash on the spinning tray and rolled ourselves into the ample night.

This book has apparently been a much hyped debut. I saw it all over Bookstagram for a while and when I came across a copy in a charity shop I bought it.

It flows I’ll give it that; it’s an easy read. It plays out against the backdrop of a gourmet restaurant and the frequent references to food and wine awoke my appetite, albeit not like a foodie-memoir does(then I start to actually cook). Now I was just munching on leftovers.

It didn’t leave much of an impression sadly; I’ve gathered that a lot of people love this novel but I’m not one of them. I felt that a lot of it was “half-baked”; I felt no connection to the characters and after half I almost gave up because I felt it too predictable.

A few times the dialogue has that zing to it, that jolt of recognition, but mostly it left me cold. Could be that I’m too old at this point, coming of age novels plays better with a certain audience maybe. But then I read “Jane Eyre” for the first time the other year and that moved me more despite being written a very long time ago.

Maybe I’m too swedish and the New York thing doesn’t work? Asked the women obsessed with early Woody Allen movies(I can watch Annie Hall over and over).  I’ve been to New York and still I romanticize the hell out of it; garbage stench,rude cabbies and all.

In the end this wasn’t a book for me; it’s a basic Chardonnay. But it’s a debut so who knows what the future brings. And if you are at that point in life, reading about someone in the same situation can bring solace.

-Suss

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