Sunday, July 08, 2007

Because She Can

Bridie Clark was born on October 7, 1977 (she’s a Libran just like me!). She graduated from Harvard in 1999, where she majored in English. She has worked at Vanity Fair, New York, Simon & Schuster and most recently, as an editor at ReganBooks (HarperCollins). She started working on Because She Can when she left her job in November 2004.

When I read the synopsis found at the back cover of the book, I couldn’t help thinking about The Devil Wears Prada. I have enjoyed Prada and I am sure I would enjoy Bridie's offering as well. The difference between the two is that, in Because She Can, the protagonist Claire Truman is an editor whereas in Prada, the protagonist is an assistant to a power-crazy fashion magazine editor.

When Claire heard that her favourite boss and mentor, Jackson Mayville at Peters and Pomfret (P&P) is retiring, she is devastated. She couldn’t imagine how her career in P&P would be like without him. She then lands a job at a top publishing house (with a triple pay increment!), thanks to Randall Cox and will be working for Vivian Grant, whom she found out is an abusive boss from hell.

The handsome Randall was Claire and Beatrice’s college crush, and now he is a successful and rich fund manager with Goldman. Bea is Claire's best friend. Soon, Claire and Randall are dating (she found it hard to believe that her college crush is now her beau). Then Luke Mayville, Jackson’s nephew comes into the picture. Claire becomes Luke’s editor and helps work on his debut novel, which Vivian has agreed to publish. Vivian likes the idea of irking the retired Jackson by publishing the work of his relative. Slowly, Luke and Claire find themselves attracted to each other…

Many times, Claire is tempted to throw in the towel but persevered for the good of Luke’s manuscript, which is only a few months away to publishing. Also, when she first joined Vivian, she promised herself to last one year there.

The storyline seemed clichéd but at the same time, I like its sense of familiarity and a good ending. I like it that way and I won’t have it any other.

"The author, Bridie Clark, worked for 10 months in 2004 for Judith Regan, the deposed head of ReganBooks, who lost her job in the wake of the O.J. Simpson If I Did It scandal." – USA Today. So, is any of the resemblance to Regan purely coincidental? Read more here.