If you’ve been reading along with this 52 books in 52 weeks series, you know that I’ve read quite a few romance novels for articles I’ve written about romance writers (the second one will coming out in late May/early June). Fitting, then that Laura Rider’s Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton, is about a woman trying to write a romance novel. But Laura Rider doesn’t want to write any old “boy meets girl, they argue, they get married.” She wants to write a true romance, and to get herself something to study, coaxes her husband into an affair with a radio personality.

It’s an odd duck of a book, and I stopped reading it twice. It didn’t quite catch me, but as I picked what book to take on the train to NYC yesterday, it won because it was the lighter and smaller of the two, and I read most of it on Amtrak (finished the last bits this morning).

I didn’t really like it, but it’s getting good reviews elsewhere. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t review too much fiction — I like reading books that take a topic and open it up, like a can opener. This was a sort of silly story with a nifty cover, which is why I picked it up in the first place. But at least it was some company on the train, which is sometimes what you need.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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