Beach Read Of The Day

by Joseph Russell · July 21, 2008

    anna maxtedAnna Maxted's Running In Heels is proof you can't (always) judge a book by its title. Natalie is a twentysomething Brit with a truckload of baggage and a raging perfectionist streak. When her father runs off to America with his very surgically enhanced secretary, Natalie stands by her mother, but theirs is not the warmest of relationships.

    In fact, Natalie is on the outs with nearly everyone, though she (and we) don't realize it until about a third of the way into the story. Gradually Natalie allows herself to acknowledge her problems, of the side effects of her tendency of letting everyone trample over her on their way out of her life (which came, to me anyways, as a complete shock), and from then on, the plot begins to lighten.

    Natalie is a terrific, and heartbreaking narrator, and the supporting cast -her fretful mother, faux-insouciant father, preening and fluttery boss, manipulative and spoiled brother, fire-fighting and newly-wedded best friend, coke-head first boyfriend, and hippy second (and many more, as this is quite a long book), are well fleshed out with nary a cliche. Check it out if you liked B.Jones, but wished for a touch more of blue.

    [Image via Google Books]