Personal appreciation of the story.......................................2
Summary of the book's chapters:
The floating house........................................................4
My old man & The best impossible light.....................5
The worst thing a suburban girl could imagine..........6-7
You could be anyone....................................................8
The girls guide of hunting and fishing.........................9
PERSONAL APPRECIATION OF THE STORY
The book starts with Jane Rosenal as a 14-year-old, decoding her brother
Henry's behaviour with the girlfriends he brings home.
With Jane narrating throughout, the chapters then describe various points
in her life: a vacation with her first serious boyfriend; her career struggle
as an editorial assistant in the New York book-publishing world; her
relationship with an editor 28 years her age; and the death of her father.
In between, an odd, unnecessary chapter is thrown in, narrated by the
woman who lives downstairs from Jane. You keep expecting this chapter to
eventually connect with the rest of the plot, but it never does.
This is a great book about struggles with relationships and finding yourself.
It shows that throughout life you don't need a man to make you happy, and
being yourself is the key to success, not doing what people tell you to.
Finally, I'd like to say that Jane is the character of the book who has made
me laugh a lot with sentences like: I'd love to stay and talk, but I have to
go shoot some heroin now.
She's very ironic in her way of speaking and that's a thing which connects a
lot with the book. A great book who has an easy reading, very clean and
that makes you enjoy English reading.
All I can say is read this book! I guarantee you will love it.
Jane Rosenal who is 14 years old is a beginner in love stories. In fact, she hasn't had
any boyfriends at the moment. That's why her only references about love and
relationships are taken by from her elder brother Henry. His behaviour concerning girls
were difficult to decode because he always had many girlfriends and it was difficult for
a person who pretends understand love and love relationships to comprehend who a
person can change so often of couple.
But this time, Jane was so worried because Henry was spending too much time with a
girl called Julia. She was so jealous about it and seeing things such as her brother let a
girl drive his car were things Jane hardly could bear.
When Henry introduced his girlfriend, Julia, to the family Jane thought she had lost her
brother in the way that another girl was more important and took more time with him
than his proper sister. It's like saying “things will never be the same again”.
That's why Jane's aptitude concerning Julia is very unkind until she starts having
longer conversations with her. Then, she realises Julia does love her brother and feels so
sorry about the couple when things turn wrong and they split up.
It is very complicate for a girl who is 14 to understand love things and even more when
you get as a model your elder brother and he seems not to find a proper girl for him.
This time wasn't different: Jane did not understand why Henry and Julia finished their
relationship at the time she was getting on well with Julia.
But, anyway, life's full of strange and unknown things and that is a thing Jane will
prove as she grows up.
THE FLOATING HOUSE
Jamie is Jane's first serious boyfriend (they are three months old). The two of them go
on vacation to St. Croix with Jamie's ex girlfriend, Bella, and her husband.
The situation is really funny because you don't recognise a serious relationship with a
man in just three months and you don't go on holiday with the ex girlfriend of your
serious boyfriend so often, do you?
Jane is a bit nervous thinking about Jamie meeting Bella and she can't stop thinking if
she's gorgeous and things like that. I'd say she's a bit jealous and at the same time
scared about the fact of Jamie's feelings rising concerning Bella.
The atmosphere between the two couples (Jane- Jamie, Bella- Yves) is right. They do
several activities such as swimming, diving, playing strip-poker...
But as far as it could seem the perfect holiday, with your boyfriend and another couple,
(all together getting on well, no rough...) the reality is far different: Bella is flirting all
the time with Jamie using sweet words with him and pretending to be in private in many
cases. Jane, of course, can't bear it but her surprise becomes bigger when she realises
that Yves is picking up her at the same time. It's just crazy!
Finally, after arguing with Jamie about what happened they both take the conclusion
that Bella was just trying to make Yves jealous making him guess she may be attracted
by Jamie again. She often acted that way with men when she wanted something. She did
act that way with Jamie before.
Luckily for Jane, Bella was in love with her husband Yves. She wouldn't have to worry
about her no more.
MY OLD MAN
Jane's already 16 years old. She goes to Manhattan where her aunt Rita lives. The
relationship between them is very close and they get on very well. The night before Jane
leaves Manhattan the to of them go to the theatre where they meet Archie Knox (a guy
who had been with Rita time before). He was famous not just as the editor he was but as
the fond of women he was).
Archie and Jane didn't meet each other again until Jane was 25. At that time Jane was
going out with Jamie but the feelings about Archie was so deep that she broke up with
Jamie. Jane moves into Archie's home.
THE BEST IMPOSSIBLE LIGHT
It's a spring day when Barney who appears to be 21 but is 24 and lives in Chicago
goes for a visit to his parents'. He's separated from Julie, his ex - wife and since then he
has had a lot of (girl)friends. This time he's with Laurel, an entomologist. All the family
meet that weekend; the two sisters, Isabelle and PK, their mum Nina and their dad Ben.
Isabelle's boyfriend, Giancarlo, also joins them. Barney and Laurel announce they're
pregnant and that they're going to get married while having dinner. Everyone think it's a
joke and laugh as it'd be. But all the laughter becomes silence when Barney tells
everybody Julie's also pregnant and that he himself is the father. Everyone is amazed
and can't understand anything. It's just unbelievable!
Isabelle is so angry with his brother and is the one who argues about the problem with
Barney. Barney and Laurel are both taking the problem easy and they say they're going
to help Julie with the baby's expenses.
THE WORST THING A SUBURBAN GIRL COULD IMAGINE
Although Rita dies, Jane still lives in her aunt's house.
Jane is a bit low because his father has waited a couple of years before telling her and
Henry he has leukaemia. The reason why he did it was not to make his illness interfere
with their lives.
Moreover, Jane has a new executive editor at H___ called Mimi Howlett who makes her
feel insignificant and small because she has make Jane believe she's not as important in
H___ as she thought she was. That makes Jane remember the feelings from her youth
when she was a girl full of doubts and worries concerning herself.
One night when Jane went to an audience she met Archie who hadn't seen since they
broke up. Archie avoided Jane all night and she felt bad about it but afterwards leaving
the audience, as she got home, Archie phoned her. They dated for dinner next night and
started dating more and more again. Jane feels so good back with Archie but their
relationship is based just in everything but in sex. On the one hand, she's a bit
overburdened because none but Jane's best friend Sophie knows about being back with
Archie. On the other hand, she doesn't feel comfortable at work; she has a lot of work to
do and the relationship with Mimi isn't the best. That's why Jane tells about it to
Archie and he helps Jane with the manuscripts she has to read to take notes to Mimi. As
they have to spend a lot of time together to do Jane's work, she moves to Archie's
home. Jane feels better there knowing she has help every time she needs it; she feels
save at Archie's.
Jane and Henry go to their parents' for a whole week in July. This time another girl is
the one who's joining them in the car way to their parents: Rebecca.
She is Henry's last(girl)friend.
When Jane asks her dad why didn't he tell her about leukaemia before and so on -when
they have that kind of confidential conversation- Jane finally tell Ben about Archie and
being back with him again.
The days go on and dad seems to be okay so Jane goes back to New York where she
doesn't find at first Archie at home and thinks he might be drinking again- but not. On
the other hand, he's molest because Jane has finished reading Mr. Putterman
(a manuscript) and has showed her notes to Mimi at work before letting himself
supervise it. While this all is happening dad is hospitalised with pneumonia in
Philadelphia, he is with artificial respiration. Jane has to travel again and a few days
later she receives a call from NY: Archie's been hospitalised too because he didn't take
the insulin. Not many days later dad dies.
Jane still has doubts about her job and doesn't know if she should give up or not. But in
the end she does. Jane has believed all her life she was in the right way but suddenly she
had quit at work, her dad had died and her relationship with Archie was full of
surprises: Archie told her he hadn't stopped drinking at all during the months they have
been together and that makes Jane take another decision: to split up definitely with
Archie even tough he bought a platinum with a diamond ring and asked her if she'd
like to marry him.
There finishes in some way a chapter of Jane's life. It's like finishing the line and
putting a stop on it. Then, she'll surely start writing in another line, trying to find the
YOU COULD BE ANYONE
Jane has already started writing a new chapter in her new life when she meets a new
man. She never mentioned his name and that's maybe because he either called Jane by
her name; he used to call her as “honey” and things like that.
The new guy is handsome but not pretty, strong, generous, kind and always ready to
please Jane in everything she wanted or needed. He also took Jane to Paris in her
birthday. In that time Jane started having doubts about the relationship with that guy
because even tough the guy is what any woman expects a man to be, Jane's feelings
aren't that clear. So when he proposes Jane to marry him, she just doesn't answer.
One day, Jane finds some kind of lump in her breast; she has cancer. She starts chemo
and also losing her hair. That's why she decides to shave it. During this all, Jane's
boyfriend is always there: helping her, spending loads of hours at hospital and giving
her all the support she needs. When Jane has almost finished chemo the guy asks her to
marry him again.
Jane now has everything clear: after knowing she has cancer, all the things in her life
that made her doubtful have turned little. Although the guy was marvellous and was
always by her side, Jane, finally admits that she doesn't love him at all.
After all, no matter how much support you receive from someone because in the end it's
just about you to search the necessary power and go on in life.
THE GIRLS' GUIDE OF HUNTING AND FISHING
Jane's best friend, Sophie, is going to get married with her boyfriend Max. For the
special occasion Jane buys a black Armani.
In the wedding party she meets Robert, a friend of Max's who composes music for
movies and advertisement. Jane and Robert get on well and they date for another day. In
spite of this fact, Jane has lost her faith in finding a man who fits her, and knowing this,
Sophie tells Jane she should read the book she's been reading “How to Meet and Marry
Mr. Right”. Jane hardly believes in this kind of books but don't knowing exactly why
she starts reading it. The most amazing thing is that Jane turns a bit paranoid with the
book: she acts with Robert like it recommends becoming herself in a person she hasn't
been before. The relationship with Robert goes on and he moves into a new house,
nearby Jane's. On the other hand, Jane thinks she has finally found the one before she
notices Robert is dating Apolliniare. She gets really angry and can't stand why Robert
hasn't broken up with her instead of dating other women. But Sophie confesses Jane
that Apolliniare is lesbian and that Robert, in fact, is confused because he doesn't really
know if Jane is in love with him or if she's just playing with him.
One day Jane receives a call from Mac - a mate from school- and they date to have
lunch and speak about how their lifes are going on. Mac seems to want more than words
with Jane but she has clear the one she loves is Robert.
But Robert definitely tells Jane that he can't go on with their relationship until the real
Jane, the one he fell in love with returns. Jane confesses her boyfriend she may have
changed because of the book she's been reading and she excused herself telling that the
only thing she wanted was to act like a real lady and make things good concerning men
once in her life. Roberts understands. They start kissing and kissing... the reconciled.