Plume, Jul 2003, 13.00, 213 pp.
Twenty-nine years old Catherine Lacey is Manhattan steel, perhaps a critically needed trait to successfully survive working as a fish dealer in the Fulton Fish Market. Catherine is a "dock brat" tough and strong as any of those males she drinks under the table, but is also in great shape. One would have to be to work with tons of fish.
However, Catherine feels that the time for matrimony is upon her as she watches her buds, the guys she has hung with for years, get married. So the independent Catherine persuades her junior lawyer boyfriend, Steve into proposing. As the wedding date comes closer, Catherine begins to have doubts about spending a lifetime with someone who mocks her blue-collar work ethic and has no fear of telling a man her needs in their relationship. Adding to her doubts is Johnny, a “special” friend when she was a teen, but he is married and deserted her once before. Will she wed the lawyer, have an affair with Johnny, or just relate with fish?
The key to this chic lit tale is that the heroine is not a fluffy frump, but instead is a strong delightful lead protagonist even with her anchored personality emphasized by hyperbole to accentuate a trait. Readers will appreciate her outlook and her ability to compete with the boys. Her fiancé suffers from penis envy and is obviously wrong for her; in turn he hurts the strong story line. Still Catherine's in your face attitude makes for a fresh tale supplemented by her caring parents, fellow fish peers, and an insightful look at their business.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner