Atria, Mar 2004, 23.00, 320 pp.
Nine years ago at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Kendall Stark heeded the advice of her friends by ending her two year relationship with Jack Sullivan because everyone insisted he was a loser. Now, Kendall is a thirty-one year old single living in Brooklyn, working as a communications operator at a popular luxurious Manhattan hotel, and having a nowhere affair with a married man.
Kendall feels contented until she sees Jack, owner of New England's very successful Sullivan Brewery who is staying at the hotel. Kendall handles herself reasonably well during the encounter, but as he leaves his look back is filled with disappointment that shakes her to the core of her essence. Kendall realizes what she lost when she stopped being Sullivan's Ken; she decides she must try to win back his love. However, Jack not only has to forgive, he wonders if she desires him because he is a success?
As CLUELESS DID TO Jane Austen's EMMA, SUCH A GIRL provides the same delightful treatment to the author's PERSUASION with Ken being Anne Elliot and Sullivan is retired naval officer Frederick Wentworth. The enjoyable second chance at love story line reflects a realistic social order that though the plot takes place in the twenty-first century could have easily been in the early 1800s. Sullivan is a wonderful protagonist as he wants his Ken back in his life, but doubts he can trust her with his heart. Ken regrets the error that shaped her life, but shows courage as she decides to prove she is his significant other forever. Together they make an intelligent and witty tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner