the continuity girl

I recently read and enjoyed Leah McLaren's the continuity girl. It was my guilty pleasure while I was doing all that entertaining and writing to complete the JulNoWriMo Challenge (see previous posts).

Meredith Moore is an obsessive film script supervisor, the person responsible for making sure the timeline of a movie visually matches in each frame. She is talented, fastidious and feels completely in control, until she wakes up on her thirty-fifth birthday wanting to have a baby. She calls this irresistible drive "The Quest," making for a book of adventures that are imaginative, well-observed and often hilarious.

This novel, which fits the chic lit marketing plan, deserves to be called a comedy as much as a romance. McLaren, a columnist with Canada's national Globe and Mail newspaper does not stint on language. You can hear the influence of her work as the Globe's London Arts correspondent in the narration as well as the dialogue. It makes for richer language and I liked McLaren for not dumbing it down.

The ending feels inevitable and it is happy. This feel-good piece makes no moral judgements on today's single, working women who want to have babies. For balance, McLaren portrays Meredith's mother Irma, a free-loving poet who, in her early twenties, accidentally became a single parent. To Meredith she is negligent and selfish. To the London notables she is famous, amusing and quite possibly barmy. This mother-daughter relationship is one of the highlights of the book.

This is a good, light read with some fun social commentary and a cast of idiosyncratic characters. I recommend it.

Happy reading.