"Daring Chloe" by the sublime Laura Jensen Walker
What book lover hasn't wished that they could float down the Mississippi with Jim and Huck? Or be sitting in the courtroom while Atticus Finch gave closing arguments?
All her life Chloe Adams has been "Chloe the Timid." The rest of this Adams clan isn't mysterious or spooky, but our little caterpillar is definitely just a bit kooky. On one branch of Chloe's family tree is Julia the Perfect, another little twig is Chloe's cousin Erica, a Nellie Olson carbon copy.
Chloe's wedding march towards happily ever after comes to a screeching halt when her bethrothed breaks up by text message. Chloe is shaken to her core. Her Aunt Tess's sons volunteer to make Chris disappear Soprano style.
Fellow Paperback Girls book club babes, Tess and Becca, whisk her away on a Mend Your Broken Heart Cruise, what would have been her honeymoon.
When Chloe thinks back on how she met Becca, flashes of lime green polka dots and a fake red nose come to mind. This fellow book nut works at the locak book store, and that's how she made an entrance into Chloe's world. Becca is the friend who would scuba dive for the thrill of a shark encounter. At the thought of a little deep sea diving all Chloe hears is the Jaws theme.
When they return from the honeymoon that wasn't, Becca and Chloe become roomies at the condo where the lovebirds were supposed to build their nest.
At the next Paperback Girls pow-wow the plan is hatched: They'll build adventures around the book club choices. Jane Austen's "Emma" inspires a night of harmless matchmaking.
As they go along the escapades become more outrageous and bold. There's a rafting trip in Huck's honor. On a camping trip thanks to "A Walk in the Woods", Chloe is ready to face down a bear for the safety of the others. This tame grizzly is a slobbering Newfoundland.
Julie the Perfect falls off her pedestal when Chloe has to face the "scene of her nightmares" the bridal shop. The last great voyage of the book finds the Paperback/Getaway Gals in Nutella rapture in Paris. While there Chloe falls in love--with the Eiffel Tower. And the butterfly starts to emerge from her cocoon in a little chapel in France.
There's part of a quote in the book (every chapter begins with a quote), from "French Women Don't Get Fat" "Laughs are like wild mushrooms, they don't come to you." Well, Laura Jensen Walker can serve up laughter and tears on a sliver platter.
"Daring Chloe" is a slice of heaven for bookworms everwhere. Bookworms are actrually a species of tapeworm. As we watch Chloe take flight into her chapter you realize Laura Jensen Walker is the kind of author you want as a tour guide, no matter where she takes you; you just want to be invited along for the ride.
"Daring Chloe" is a book lovers feast--Bon appetit--it's quite delicious, and also tres magnifique.