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Sushi for Beginners    by Marian Keyes Amazon.com order for
Sushi for Beginners
by Marian Keyes
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTorch, 2004 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Chick-Lit is a relatively new fiction category, but already some titles stand out from the rest. Marian Keyes's Sushi for Beginners is one of them. Granted, at first, the story may sound similar to another popular Chick-Lit title, Lauren Weisberger's The Devil Wears Prada, but keep reading Sushi for Beginners is even better.

Keyes's novel centers around the lives and loves of three very different women in Dublin: Ashling Kennedy (the over-anxious, always prepared assistant editor of the new hip Irish women's magazine Colleen), Lisa Edwards (Ashling's bitter, power-hungry boss who feels she has been demoted from her job of editor of a London magazine), and Clodagh Kelly (Ashling's disillusioned best-friend who feels her life is in a rut). While all three are main characters, Ashling seems to be the heroine for a few reasons. First off, like most Chick-Lit heroines, she is a single woman trying to juggle both a career and a social life and not always succeeding. Secondly, the majority of the characters are more directly linked in some way to Ashling than anyone else. Finally, she elicits the most sympathy from the reader (this could be due to the fact that I relate most to Ashling; another reader with different life-experience might see either Lisa or Clodagh as the heroine).

Marian Keyes's Sushi for Beginners is definitely more character than plot driven, and it is the characters that make the book so special. One easily gets wrapped up in the lives and culture of these three women (I did so much that I was convinced that my Monday off was a bank holiday!). Ashling, Lisa, and Clodagh's experiences will make you laugh, cry, and start using Irish slang. Tell a mate about this very chichi read!

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