The Kissing List by Stephanie Reents
In a series of loosely connected stories, we fol¬low Sylvie and her girlfriends from their time as graduate students at Oxford through their young adult¬hood in New York. As these young women go from the carefree lives of college students through the years of becoming responsible adults, we live with them through tragedy, joy, disappointment, and surprise.
What makes this book so special is the writing. With voices all their own, each character relays defining moments in their lives, sweeping us along with them. Each voice is funny, or desperate, or calculating, or regretful, or tremendously sad, and sometimes, as in life itself, it’s all of these things together.
Though the collection has Sylvie as the main and unifying character, each one of the others featured is fully de-veloped and fully unforgettable. Every reader will find events, emotions, and perceptions to relate to and will leave the book taking these young women with them; reliving moments that are unforgettably rendered.
This tremendous debut work of fiction is perfect for book groups of all kinds, but perhaps especially for those comprised of young women, who will find a part of themselves in every story.
Hogarth/Random House; ISBN 978-0-30795-182-3; $22.