Elegance – Kathleen Tessaro (2003)- A Chick-lit from a male point of view review

heartimageseleganceIn my review of Dan Brown’s “Inferno” I mentioned how I tended to use his “Da Vinci Code” as a measure for other books in the adventure genre. My chick-lit yardstick tends to be this, a classy and highly readable debut novel by the American born writer. It stands out from the pile because of Tessaro’s use of a clever device- a real life tome from the 1960’s on “Elegance” offering advice to women on how such a virtue could be achieved. Tessaro got permission to use this book centrally in her novel (and befriended the author). This provides a structure for her novel and it works extremely well. Main character Louise, living in 21st Century London decides to apply the “elegance” philosophy to her life. Things begin to change dramatically for her, from the loveless rut of her marriage, to her appearance, career etc. I didn’t find it laugh-out-loud funny but it did make me smile quite a lot. It reads extremely well and the A-Z format keeps the attention throughout. I warmed to the refreshingly literary feel. Tessaro now has five novels available for our delectation and she is certainly an author on my to-be-read again list.      fourstars

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