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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

Brooklyn Girls is the first book in a planned series by Gemma Burgess, and I think she's off to a very good start. This book includes five women who live together in Brooklyn in a house named Rookhaven. It features Pia, and it is around her this story revolves with information included about the other women in support of her. 

Pia is a bit of a mess. She's an adult but can't hold a job, she has no real marketable skills, and if she doesn't soon get her act together, her parents are going to take over and make her live with them. She wants to avoid this at all costs, so more or less on a whim, she borrows money from a loan shark and buys a food truck where she plans to sell ready made salads and at least one dessert. This is a learn-as-you-go experiment for Pia, and while she does need help from her housemates now and then, she is surprised how quickly her business takes off. There are twists and turns along the way which make for a very entertaining story about young women on their own making lives for themselves without much outside help. The characters peripheral to Pia's story are quirky and funny; some are sad and lonely. They all contribute to moving the story along in interesting ways.

Brooklyn Girls is also the story of women who don't always see eye-to-eye but learn together about compromise and realizing what it means to have somebody's back even when there is strain in a relationship. It's also a heartwarming story about what constitutes a family; it isn't necessarily sharing blood ties at all. It's about feeling secure and truly being able to be yourself, warts and all. I thought Gemma Burgess did a very good job creating 5 very distinctive and separate women each with her own issues. At the beginning I thought it might be difficult to keep these 5 women separate. Thanks to the author's skill, that never became a problem.

I highly recommend Brooklyn Girls to people who like women's lit as well as a deftly plotted story with diverse and interesting characters. It isn't easy to make a go of living in today's world on one's own but the Brooklyn Girls learn as they go to succeed at what they choose to do.

I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley in return for a review.

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