Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Sarah Pekkanen introduces us to three young women living in New York in her new novel ‘These Girls’. These Girls seem to be very different but as we get to know them a little better, and peek into their lives through Pekkanen’s words, we realise that they aren’t so different after all. More to the point, they aren’t that different from any young woman trying to find their place in their world. They have their insecurities and past experiences they would be happier if no-one ever discovered.
These Girls are realistic and believable, and the novel tells a story that you have no problem believing – there is no point where you need to suspend disbelief to get you past it. Actually, maybe there is one because I’m not sure I can believe that last chapter would ever happen.
Centred around the high fashion world of glossy magazines in New York there is a lot of emphasis on appearances so it’s understandable that Renee feels she doesn’t fit as a size 12 in a size 4 world and this is something I can understand and empathise with. I can understand the draw of diet pills, I can feel the horror of having to put yourself out there only to be shot down and humiliated by nasty and inappropriate comments. There is no reason that a size 12 shouldn’t win the coveted position of Beauty Editor at Gloss magazine but if you’re insecure about your size to begin with it would feel like a major hurdle, and how do you talk about it when your friends are all, seemingly effortlessly, the size 4 you so covet?
Cate has just landed the position of Features Editor but there are times she can’t stop herself wondering why. She started at the bottom of the ladder as a receptionist and has worked her way up but there are things in her past that will always stop her truly believing that she deserves this.
Cate and Renee have been sharing an apartment for a while now and they have a pretty easy, casual relationship but it has never progressed to the real bond of friendship that both of these girls so desperately need.
Enter Abby, the sister of the GORGEOUS guy working at another magazine in their building. She arrives in the middle of a party looking less than together. Trey is worried about her and isn’t comfortable leaving her alone while he jets off for a story, enter Cate, Renee and their newly-spare room.
Preparing the room for Abby brings Cate and Renee together a little more and sets them on the path to friendship. Renee is outgoing and friendly but Cate isn’t one to open up easily so she appears aloof and unwilling to connect when really she just doesn’t know how to open up – yet.
These Girls follows three girls who have come to New York for very different reasons and from very different backgrounds. They grow together after the initial ice is broken and become more than room-mates and as they grow closer they begin to share more of their secrets, tell a little more of their backgrounds until we have the full picture and can see how they got to where they are. Better than that we get to watch this friendship form, grow and blossom until these three damaged women find that strength and support that a close friendship offers to face their issues and move on from them.
These Girls is the beautiful tale of a friendship that saves three young women from themselves and the mistakes of their pasts, three young women that could be any one of us. Pekkanen describes the beauty and importance of friendship in a way that is totally down-to-earth and easy to read. She’s definitely an author I will be keeping my eye out for, and it was nice to get a glimpse into the way the big glossy magazines work – something to aspire to.
40 of our Beauty Chick Chat members have been reading These Girls, find out what they thought below…