Thursday, March 11, 2010

Feminista Erica Kennedy

Feminista by Erica Kennedy
Feminsta is Kennedy’s second novel and was released in 2009. I loved her debut novel, Bling. So it was never a question of if I would read Feminista but when.

Someone I worked with told me how good it was months ago, but I simply didn’t listen and kept putting it off. I finally picked up Feminista at the end of Jan. and loved it. For me Erica Kennedy has officially reached read as soon as it come out author status.

Though I find it very fitting that I’ve read Feminista, in time for Women’s History Month. I know I don’t review much adult fiction here that doesn’t crossover for teen readers but I am pulling out the V card on this one.

33 Sydney Zamora lives and works in New York, City and a self proclaimed feminista, a fashonista, feminist. Sydney is quickly promoted at Cachet magazine, a popular gossip magazine so they can avoid being sued for racial discrimination. Sydney, usually attracted to the young starving artist decides it time to get married. This comes has a shock to everyone including her sister Liz and her partner. Sydney always talked out against marriage, fearing it would make her dependent. This was do in part to her mother’s many marriages.

Liz decides to help her sister by hiring for a well known matchmaker. Mitzi Berman finds wives only for men in a certain tax bracket. If you’re thinking Mitzi sounds like that matchmaker from that Bravo show, you’d be right. Mitzi is older, funny, with great comebacks.

Kennedy has a talent for incorporating characters or situtations that have become a part of the everyday culture. With characters like Mitzi Berman to Sydney’s high priced and famous nutritionist Ranjit or Lulu Merriwether, a daughter of a billionaire out of boredom decides to write a novel which gets first rate PR treatment and becomes an instant bestseller.

Though it took me minute to read Feminista I was smart enough to suggest it to customers. Before reading it was mistakenly calling it chick lit. It is chick lit funny, there are many parts where I was laughing so hard it hurt. Though at the same time it has more depth.

“ True, she had told Liz. She wanted to get married, but she had been speaking euphemistically, hadn’t she? She didn’t really mean married as in married. As in put on a poufy white dress, walk down an aisle and pledge eternal love, married. She meant something more along the lines of be in a committed relationship with someone who is going to love me , support me, make me laugh be a good father to our children and assemble the shit we get from Ikea. She was looking for more of a husfriend than a husband.

Sydney finds herself at a crossroads in her life, she believes she must decide between a marriage or career. Along with the laughter, there are moments of truth that hit Sydney very hard.

“Mitzi nodded. Yup. I deal with women all day long, and a lot of them are like you. I mean you’re an extreme case. You’re very very challenged socially, but it all stems from the same thing. Women of your generation grew up believing they could do everything a man could do. And I’m the last person to say a woman is not a man’s equal. We are equals. But we’re different. Different doesn’t mean lesser. It means different.

Kennedy created an honest, take no crap, flawed, strong, smart, vulnerable, funny character in Sydney. Whenever Sydney is asked about her heritage she quickly responds with Afro Cuban, Portuguese, French and Irish. Feminista is as diverse as a novel set in the city of Manhattan should be. Kennedy's writing is seamless, everything from Sydney's inner monologues to the dialogue is spot on good.


MissA said...

Glad you liked feminsta! I love the idea behind it. and ooo sarcastic matchmaker!

It sounds funny with some sharp commentary and of course I love complex and crazy characters :)

I need to read this one, probably over the summer though.

Doret said...

I loved Feminsta. It very hard cover worthy

Jodie said...

I'm glad to hear you liked it, think it was getting good recommendations at 'White Readers Meet Black Authors' and the pop of the cover made me think it might be a bit special.