Review: Otherwise Engaged

Otherwise Engaged: A NovelOtherwise Engaged: A Novel by Suzanne Finnamore
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Otherwise Engaged is a book about a woman who, like many of her species, is anxious to land a husband. In the first several pages, she employs her will and her not inconsiderable knowledge of Psychological Manipulation of the Human Male to get her boyfriend to propose. She is elated for about two days, at which point she begins to suffer buyer’s remorse….

The protagonist/narrator of this book is not easy to like, probably predominantly because she is so believable in her insecurity and shallowness. Nothing seems good enough, nothing is easy enough, nothing is the fairy tale she’d anticipated. She loves the idea of being engaged, but not actually BEING engaged. She wanted to be married, but the prospect of actual marriage terrifies her. What if her wedding isn’t perfect? What if her man isn’t perfect? What if her perfect life isn’t perfect?

Upon reaching the end of the book, though, you actually kind of feel for her. After all, the doubts she experiences are only exaggerated versions of those any bride-to-be might feel. The fights, the doubts, the heartbreaks – they’re all quite, depressingly believable.

And it is, as advertised, pretty funny.

Still, you just sort of want to smack her and her globetrotting, got-made-partner, expensive shoe-buying ways.

The most telling thing about this book, I think, is that while it is rather obvious that the protagonist DOES in fact love her guy, she never once says the words – to him, or to us as she tells the story.

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