Friday, February 23, 2007

Because she can

Because she can by Bridie Clark

Because she can opens on an extravagant New York wedding. Book editor Claire Truman is marrying the man of her dreams, Randall Cox, her college crush. Everything is going well until her nightmarish boss, the notorious publishing queen Vivian Grant, shows up in the bridal suite to work on some projects.

The novel then flashes back exactly one year to Claire sulking in her tiny apartment. Fresh from a breakup, she has just found out that her beloved mentor is retiring. When her best friend drags Claire to an opening in hopes of raising her spirits, she reconnects with the fabulously successful Randall Cox. After they hit it off, Randall offers to introduce her to Vivian Grant. Though Grant is the most reviled person in the industry, Claire takes a job at Grant Books to forward her career. When the rumors about Vivian turn out to be more true than she could have imagined, Claire sticks it out in order to see her new friend Luke Mayville's first novel published.

Debut novel from Bridie Clark, who once worked for the infamous Judith Regan, seems to be a blend of fiction and tell-all. One can't help but describe it as a The Devil Wears Prada for the book publishing world. While Because she can is not a cookie-cutter book, the similarities are striking: including a crazy boss and stressful work environment, the need for the protagonist to stay a year in the position, weight loss, and a public scene marking the end of the protagonist's employment.

Claire is a very sympathetic character, more realistic than many chick lit heroines. Her personal struggle is less about her career than it is about coming to terms with the fact that sometimes Mr. Perfect isn't perfect for you. While readers may get impatient with Claire, her eventual self-realization is satisfying.

Read my review of the audio version on Armchair Interviews...


  1. Wait. This is the one the whole publishing industry is talking about. I'm eager to read it. Did it top Prada, which is one of my all-time favorites?