My Rating: Great Read
Synopsis: A radiant debut novel about stumbling through the early years of adulthood— and a love letter to the role models who light the way.
Like so many other recent graduates, Dawn West is trying to make her way in New York City. She’s got an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite stop seeing, a roommate who views rent checks and basic hygiene as optional, and a writing career that’s gotten as far as penning an online lawn care advice column.
So when Dawn lands a job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine’s “Ten Girls to Watch” contest, she’s thrilled. After all, she’s being paid to interview hundreds of fascinating women: once outstanding college students, they have gone on to become mayors, opera singers, and air force pilots. As Dawn gets to know their life stories, she’ll discover that success, love, and friendship can be found in the most unexpected of places. Most importantly, she’ll learn that while those who came before us can be role models, ultimately, we each have to create our own happy ending.
My Review: I really liked Dawn. She is a recent graduate and struggling to make ends meet in NYC. She lands a job, through a connection at her ex-boyfriend's party. It is his new girl friend that introduces Dawn to her new boss! How unusual!
Her new job is following up on where the past winners of the Charm magazine's "Ten Girls to Watch" contest are today. She interviews so many amazing women and learns how they have all used their own talents to be successful. Success is defined in so many ways. I think Dawn grows a lot throughout the book as a part of her research/interviews.
I love that she works in a basement and no one is around in "the archives." Well, almost no one! I have no experience in that, but could picture it so clearly. Dawn seems to be the type of person that makes the best out of any situation - which is success in my book any day!
I really enjoyed Charity Shumway's debut novel, Ten Girls to Watch and am looking forward to reading other books she writes!
Meet the Author: Charity Shumway received an MFA in Creative Writing from Oregon State University and a BA in English from Harvard University. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, where she reported on the fiftieth anniversary of the magazine’s “Top Ten College Women” contest, Ladies Home Journal, and Fitness, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Purchase it: You can purchase Ten Girls to Watch from Amazon for $15.00 ($10.20 prime members and $9.99 Kindle version).