Made in Manhattan Book Review

Love can come sometimes come from the most unexpected places. The question is, are we willing to give it a chance, especially when it does not fit into our worldview?

Made in Manhattan, by Lauren Layne, was published earlier this year. Violet Townsend is an heiress/socialite who has spent her entire life within the borders of the Upper East Side. She has known since she was young how to dress, who the right people are, and how to please them. Working for a family friend, her newest task is to ensure that her boss’s newly found grandson and heir fit into their world.

Cain Stone has, up to this point, spent his entire life in Lousiana. Having been uprooted from his home and re-planted in New York City, he is only in it for the money. Cain is not interested in either his grandmother or Violet’s attempt to remake him into a man that fits into the city’s elite.

Once they get to know one another, Violet and Cain discover that they are not so different. They could even be more than begrudging friends. But before that can happen, both have to be willing to put aside their emotional baggage and open up.

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The best way to describe the narrative is Pygmalion/My Fair Lady meets Sex and the City/Gossip Girl. It’s a cute romance novel that is predictable without being too predictable. It is a well-written story that is entertaining, charming, and romantic.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Made in Manhattan is available wherever books are sold.


Flashback Friday: Sex and the City (2008)

For many women, their wedding day is supposed to be one of the most important days of their lives. The expectations are that it is supposed to be the gateway to the next chapter of their life story. But what happens when it does not happen as planned?

Sex and the City (2008) is the big-screen sequel to the HBO television series of the same name. After years of will they or won’t they, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) are engaged. Carrie is preparing for her wedding, having certain ideas about how the day will go.

When he develops cold feet just minutes before the ceremony is about to begin, she is naturally angry and heartbroken. Turning to her friends, Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Samantha (Kim Cattrall), they will be the support that she needs to deal with this heartbreaking loss. Meanwhile, each of them are having their own problems. Charlotte has been trying to get pregnant after adopting her oldest daughter. Miranda is dealing with trouble in paradise. Samantha is finding that being in a committed relationship is harder than it initially appeared to be.

I know enough about SATC to get by, but I am far from a superfan. The movie is entertaining, enjoyable, and an appropriate sequel to its television predecessor. The narrative followthrough is organic and natural. It’s the kind of film I would watch if it is on, but it is far from required viewing.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Thoughts On The 20th Anniversary Of Sex and the City

For most of human history, women’s voices have either been muted or silenced all together. Through generations of struggle, women have come very far in a very short time.

One of the markers of this change is Sex and the City. This week, the show is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Set in New York City, Sex and the City or SATC tells the story about the lives of four single women. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), the program’s protagonist, is a writer who writes a column about sex and love based on her own life. She is best friends with Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), an type-A lawyer, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), a publicist who has been around the block and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), a traditionalist who works as an art dealer.

I very much appreciate the groundbreaking aspects of SATC. While the women had quite a few boyfriends, the men were secondary. The women and their friendship was primary. I also very much appreciate that the characters were sexually active and treated it as a natural part of adulthood instead of being ashamed of their actions. No subject was off the table with these women, they talked about issues that everyday women talk about with their friends.

However, I should point out that there are a few chinks in the armor when it comes to SATC.

  • While Carrie’s apartment was beautiful, it was a fantasy. Most writers would not be able to afford that apartment in real life.
  • The lack of people of color.
  • The fact that all of the leading actresses were a little too skinny.
  • The hookup culture that permeated the love lives of the characters. There are many women who would prefer wait to sleep with their dates or their significant others.
  • The New York City that is presented in SATC has a very glossy feel to it. The New York City that I know is a little grittier and not as pretty.
  • In the end, Carrie still lived out the traditional happy ending when she and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) finally made it official.

While SATC was not completely true to life, it was still a huge step forward when it came to how women were portrayed on television. For that reason alone, SATC will live on forever in the heart and minds of the fans and television viewers everywhere.

Thoughts On Cynthia Nixon Running For Governor In NY

Earlier this week, Sex And The City actress Cynthia Nixon announced that she is running for governor in NY.

To be honest, I have mixed feeling about her running.

It’s no secret that there is obvious corruption in the highest levels of state government. More than a few government officials have been accused and/or found guilty of using their power for less than honorable means.

While her political activism is well-known, she lacks real world political experience. I think myself and many other voters might think twice about voting for a candidate who lacks a professional political background. Especially considering that you know is sending this country to Hades in hand basket.

My other concern is that while she appeals to left leaning voters who live in and around New York City, she also has to appeal to voters who live in the rest of the state. Once you get out of New York City, what is blue when it comes to politics becomes red.

Her name recognition certainly helps, but she will need more than that, if she is to find herself in Albany later this year.

Only time will tell if she wins the election, but I have a feeling that it will not be an easy path to walk on, metaphorically speaking.



Throwback Thursday-Sex and the City (1998-2004)

There is something about being a single woman in this era. There is the feeling of possibilities. Unlike previous generations, we have choices and opportunities could have been dreamed about one or two generations ago.

Sex and the City (1998-2004) was the story of four different single women living in modern day New York City. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) was the protagonist and the audience’s eyes into the world that the show created. Samantha Jones’s (Kim Cattrall) favorite past time is sex and everything related to sex. Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) still believes in the old fashioned prince charming happily ever after. Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) is the cynic whose been through the ringer more times than she can count.

I’m not a huge fan of this show, but I do appreciate it’s impact on other shows that have come after it. While the four lead characters in themselves might have been archetypes, they were also fully fleshed human beings who had the same vices and strengths that we all do. What I think kept fans tuning in during the initial series run and coming back to both the reruns and the movies was the honest quality of the stories and the characters. Unlike other stories about women where they are fighting over a man, these women were friends, talking about real subjects that all women can relate to. And the fact that New York City was the fifth lady also made a nice backdrop.

I recommend it.

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