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Friday, June 19, 2009

Review: Cutting Loose

Author: Nadine Dajani
Publisher:Forge, 2008
Genre: Fiction, chic-lit
Mass market, paper bound, 384 pages

From the back of the book:

Meet three women who are as different as could be—at least that’s what they think—and the men who’ve turned their lives upside down as their paths collide in sizzling, sexy Miami. . . .Ranya is a modern-day princess—brought up behind the gilded walls of Saudi Arabian high society and winner of the dream husband sweepstakes . . . until said husband turns out to be more interested in Paolo, the interior-decorator-cum-underwear-model, than in his virginal new wife.

Smart, independent, but painfully shy, Zahra has managed to escape her impoverished Palestinian roots to carve out a life of comfort. But she can’t reveal her secrets to the man she adores or shake off the fear that she doesn’t deserve any of it. Neither can she stop herself from thinking that if she holds on to anything—or anyone—too dearly, they will be taken away in the blink of a kohl-lined eye.

Rio has risen above the slums of her native Honduras—not to mention the jeers of her none too supportive family—to become editor in chief of SuĂ©ltate magazine, the hottest Latina-targeted glossy in town, and this in spite of Georges Mallouk, her clueless boss, and in spite of Rio’s affair with Georges’ delicious but despicable younger brother, Joe.

In this city of fast cars, sleek clubs, and unapologetic superficiality, Ranya, Zahra, and Rio wrestle with the ties that bind them to their difficult pasts, each wondering if she will ever manage to cut loose.

My Thoughts:

The story is told from the perspective of the three girls, Ranya, Zahra, and Rio. Each chapter is a different narrator, but the main story arc is Ranya's story. She meets Rio and Zahra along the way.

Each woman's story gives information on their cultural backgrounds, helping to explain their actions and thoughts. This was very interesting to me, because the culture a person is raised in affects their lives. Their behavior, thoughts, and beliefs, whether they realize it or not is influenced by their culture. No culture is better than another. You accept it for what it is and make no judgements. (For a more in depth discussion of culture, pick up any anthropology book. You will not be disappointed.)

All three women are strong and smart, and are on the edge of cutting loose from what their parents and family say they should do with their lives. They are ready to grow up. I liked Ranya and Rio, but Zahra was another matter. She tended to wallow in self pity for most of her chapters, and not really take control until the end. (Hey, I have some meat on my bones too, but I suck it up and try to work out...know what I mean?) Rio and Ranya would have doubts, but then pick themselves up immediately and carry on. These are two girls that one could have a fun time with.

The book moved rather quickly. The story starts in London and moves to Miami quickly. Descriptions of South Beach and the people who hang out at the clubs there seem to be spot on. My only problem with the book was towards the end. I kept waiting for a friendship to develop between these girls, maybe a lunch date or going out for coffee, but that never seems to happen. They all remain pretty separate. Yet, Rio and Zahra make some comments as if they were "friends" with Ranya. They seem to care about Ranya. It's weird to describe, but the best I can say is that it's a bit jumbled at the end. Although, I don't think it takes away from the story too much. The fates of all three gals are wrapped up for the most part.

Overall this was a quick, lighthearted, and fun read. Definitely good for the beach or for occupying your mind.

My Rating: 85/100

Does this sound good to you? Would you like to win your very own copy?
Check this post out for my giveaway which ends on June 27th.


Jo-Jo said...

I'm glad you liked this one Jenny...I have just started it but I am also enjoying it.

Nise' said...

Great reveiw. I like that the book is about gals of different cultures.

Dar said...

I've seen this book around a bit lately. It does sound quite good. Nice review Jenny.

Anonymous said...

Sounds fun! Great review.

Jenny Girl said...

Thanks gals! It was a quick and easy read.

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