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December 05, 2022

Review in Haiku: The Sleeping Beauty Proposal

By Katrina Stonoff

Boyfriend proposes
on TV to someone else?
Just plan a wedding.

I stumbled upon The Sleeping Beauty Proposal by Sarah Strohmeyer accidentally. I blog-linked over to this entry from romance author Helen Kay Dimon's blog. She'd included brief descriptions of the plots of a number of books she thought might be good summer reading.

I found Strohmeyer's plot intriguing: it's about a 30-something, single woman whose long-term, live-in boyfriend proposes on national television -- but not to her. Strohmeyer offered to send a copy at random to someone who commented on the entry, and (lucky me!) I was chosen.

I don't read much chicklit (though I adore Wendy Holden: her Farm Fatale was my initiation into the genre), and I rarely read romance.

But I have to say: for summer reading, this is as fun as it gets. I gobbled up Sleeping Beauty Proposal in 36 hours and even stayed up late because I wanted to know how it ended. It's wildly funny and entertaining and absolutely charming (sorry, couldn't resist the pun). I just love how the main character takes charge of an awful situation.

Even my husband liked it, and he's a major literary snob. He only reads serious, post-modern fiction. He thinks Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon are the greatest American authors ever, and all the rest of us who aspire to write (even me) are just Vonnegut-wannabes.

I left Sleeping Beauty Proposal in the bathroom (hey -- I'm a Mom; it's the only place I can be alone during the day in summer). My husband came out one day and said, "You know that book you got? It's really good. I just picked it up, and next thing I knew, I was 20 pages in." Then he added, "It's really great writing. I might even call it literature." This may sound like a backhanded compliment with "might" and "even" stuck in there, but trust me -- it's high praise! I did mention the man's an uber-snob about literature, right?

"It's a great read," I said. "But I don't think you can call it literature. It's unabashed chick lit. It's called The Sleeping Beauty Proposal, for heaven's sake!"

"Yes, but I think she's writing about serious issues," he said. "I think it's much deeper than chicklit."

"I agree she's making a serious statement, in a very funny way. But Honey, it has a purple cover. With a tiara. And glitter! It's definitely chick lit."

"Well, maybe," he finally admitted. "But it's really great chick lit then."

And indeed, it is. I did have some minor issues with some of Genie's choices (What?! Is she nuts?! She cannot get away with that, and besides, it's totally immoral!), but those are issues with the character's honor, not the writing. And in fact, if I'm making moral judgments about a character, I clearly think of her as a real person.

So ... kudos to Ms. Strohmeyer! I'm off to buy her previous book: The Cinderella Pact.

Article © Katrina Stonoff. All rights reserved.
Published on 2008-12-01
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