Since reading about the rise and fall of Julia Roberts’ relationship with Kiefer Sutherland, Hannah Gavener has been searching for the man of her dreams.
It’s not a hot blond in the city armed with just her highlighted hair and Prada shoes kind of search, but a believable girl – smart, dry-humored and cripplingly insecure – looking for someone who understands her.
As she grows up, she moves from Philadelphia to Boston to Albuquerque and travels to Alaska for a kayaking trip. Through it all, the narrative is sharp and funny, and Hannah’s experiences – though often odd and surprising – always ring true.
Her coping methods for her pushy cousin Fig, her perfect sister Allison and unrequited love are refreshingly outside chick-literary convention. There are no shopping sprees and no coffee dates with girlfriends in “The Man of My Dreams.”
There are therapy sessions, an open relationship and uncomfortably honest depictions of family dynamics.
This coming-of-age novel has the heart and angst that I relished in the best young-adult fiction I grew up reading, but it’s written by and for bona-fide grown-ups.
Pop open a grown-up beverage while you see what I mean. I recommend CottonWood Creek Cellars red table wine from California. The 100-percent-organic wine, released on Earth Day this year, is as real as Hannah and retails for just $6.99.