THE CONTINUITY GIRL by Leah McLaren (HarperColllins), 335 pages, $18.95 paper. Rating: NN
I actually like chick lit. What's wrong with a story about working women looking for love, usually in the wrong places? Chicks do dig it.
But books in this burgeoning genre don't have to be shallow. I like my chick lit heartfelt, and Leah McLaren's The Continuity Girl is just too superficial for me.
Meredith Moore is a continuity girl - also known as a script supervisor, the detail-obssessed person on a film shoot who makes sure that there's consistency in a scene from take to take.
Meredith is very good at what she does. But one morning, the 30-something wakes up with a burning desire to be pregnant and decides that she'll apply her doggedness to the art of sperm banditry.
So this story is about someone looking not for love, but for sperm in all the wrong places. Her quest takes her to London, England, where her impossibly bohemian mother has found her a gig and where Meredith suddenly way too suddenly decides she'd like to know who her father is.
The book is part mystery, part romance (the near glitch at the end with the love interest feels more sitcom-like than literary), part travelogue, but none of these elements is handled with much skill.
At a recent event promoting the novel, McLaren allowed that she was glad she'd written it just after her trips to London and Florence, because she'd forgotten almost everything about the places she visited.
This didn't surprise me. The book reads like whatever experiences inspired the story never really sank in and McLaren tossed the thing off.
Kind of like her Globe columns, in book form.
McLaren reads as part of the Harbourfront Reading Series on Wednesday (February 22). See Readings for details.