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The Man of My Dreams
By Curtis Sittenfeld

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The Man of My Dreams

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The Man of My Dreams
By Curtis Sittenfeld
Thorndike Press - Large Print Edition (2006)
ISBN: 0-7862-8830-2
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by Angela Evans - October 30, 2006

The Man of My Dreams is a charming coming of age tale that chronicles development of Hannah Gavener, from a gangly fourteen-year-old, to a woman in her late twenties who is seeking a meaningful relationship. Written by Curtis Sittenfeld, the author of Prep, this book is both insightful and entertaining. Hannah is a complex creature who has been trained to docile and always accommodating to all those around her. As she matures, she must learn that she does herself a disservice by always thinking of other first, and it takes the help of a psychiatrist, Dr. Lewin, and her friend Fig, to help her discover just who 'Hannah' really is.

Throughout this book, Sittenfeld focuses on Hannah relationships with men, from her father who ships her off to live with relatives at the age of fourteen, to her near infatuation with Fig's boyfriend. Throughout this charming tale, Hannah is searching for the right man that she feels will complete her, and of course, bring her total happiness. Poppycock! Personally, I found this a little off-putting. I don't think any women should feel incomplete if they don't have a 'man' and she surely should not rely upon a man to bring her happiness. Nonetheless, Sittenfeld manages to take this major flaw in Hannah's character and turn it into an endearing quirk that makes you want to rush out and start playing matchmaker for her.

Well-written, amusing, and touching The Man of My Dreams straddles the border between a chick-lit book and a standard fiction novel, primarily because it does not have a solid happy ending. The story is filled with the realities of growing up in a dysfunctional household, along with large dollops of teenage angst and young love, marinated in college life and sprinkled with grown-up complications. The Man of My Dreams is a high-calorie book that is sure to satisfy your craving for a modern day coming-of-age tale.


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