“Chasing Harry Winston” by Lauren Weisberger

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
June 1, 2008

Three New York women about to turn 30 make a pact: within the next 12 months, each will make a life-altering change.  For marriage-minded Emmy, whose boyfriend left her for the personal trainer she hired for him, this means having attachment-free one-night stands. Her sexy maneater friend Adriana vows she can be monogamous and will be engaged to a fabulous man before she turns 31. And then there’s Leigh, who privately promises herself that she will dump her perfect boyfriend.

By the end of Chasing Harry Winston (Simon & Schuster, 288 pages, $25.95) only one will have succeeded in following through, but each will have gained insight into what (and who) they really want in their lives. Written by Lauren Weisberger — whose debut novel, The Devil Wears Prada, took a delicious peek at the bitchy fashion magazine industry — Chasing Harry Winston is a fun, if flawed, summertime read.

Weisberger has a genial writing style and wonderfully captures the unconditional friendship between the women. But her main character, Leigh, is a dull heroine. A rising star at an elite publishing house, Leigh has been selected by a charming bestselling author to edit his latest novel. She also is engaged to a handsome on-air TV personality who is one of New York’s most sought after bachelors. But Leigh has so many quirks (doesn’t like being touched, won’t let anyone visit her on Mondays) that it’s difficult to understand why any man would want to go to the trouble of dating her once they got to know her. Brazilian bombshell Adriana is the showiest of the three friends, but petite, complicated and romantic Emmy is the most interesting. Her attempts at seducing men without falling in love with them is both bittersweet and humorous.         And while men are an important component of Chasing Harry Winston, the book’s message clearly is that guys will come and go, but best girlfriends will always be there for one another.

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