A funny and uplifting debut novel about stumbling through the early years of adulthood while taking (or not taking) the advice of the women who've gone before you.
Dawn West is trying to make her way in New York City. She's got an ex-boyfriend she can't quite stop seeing, a writing career that's gotten about as far as penning an online lawn care advice column, and a small hometown in Oregon that's her last recourse if she can't make next month's rent.
So when Dawn lands a job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine's "Ten Girls to Watch" contest, she's thrilled. Not only is she being paid to interview hundreds of fascinating women, but she's also sharing office space with "Secret Agent Romance," Charm's resident dating columnist, and he just happens to be giving her butterflies.
As Dawn gets to know the life stories of these former winners, she'll discover that success, love, and friendship can be found in the most unexpected of places.
Part of the Reader Store's A New Year, A New You collection.
Shumway's easy-going debut follows Dawn West, a recent Harvard grad living in Brooklyn trying to become a writer. She has few friends apart from her ex-boyfriend, and the only writing she manages is for a lawn care advice column. An assignment finally lands in her lap when she serendipitously meets the editor-in-chief of Charm magazine, whose "Ten Girls to Watch" feature is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Dawn's job is to track down all 500 past winners for a special section in the magazine. Though intimidated by the numerous superstars on the list, Dawn dives in and connects with a spectacularly diverse assortment of women. The "Ten Girls" alumnae, and their overarching message that success comes in many forms, inspire Dawn to take charge of her life. She starts writing fiction again, reconnects with her family, and pursues a romance with Charm's dating columnist. But when an almost unbelievable series of disasters strikes, her newfound resolve is tested. A smoothly paced plot, peppered with robust vignettes from Charm's success stories and quirky details from Dawn's life, ensures a fast, funny, and moving read. Agent: Kristyn Keene, ICM. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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July 29, 2012
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