Readers have come to love Sarah Pekkanen’s novels in large part because she writes stories about women whose lives often reflect that of the women who eagerly turn the pages of her books. Reading Sarah Pekkanen’s novel is a literary experience. Her extraordinary talent for creating compelling characters is what has earned her a permanent place in the hearts and on the bookshelves of countless readers.
In Sarah Pekkanen’s third novel, THESE GIRLS (Atria/Washington Square Press; April 2012; $15.00 Paperback), she explores the lives of three women who live together in New York City. Cate, Renee and Abby are each at a major crossroads in their lives, and it is through the bond of their friendship that each woman finds solace and insight. And with one another’s encouragement and support, they each take a hard, honest look within themselves in order to learn the lessons that will help determine their best solutions.
Cate has just been promoted to features editor, a highly coveted and visible position at the popular magazine, Gloss. She has a lot to prove in this new role, especially since she’s rapidly risen through the ranks. She’s concerned that her colleagues at the magazine believe that she got the job due to reasons that have nothing to do with her work performance. But what Cate’s co-workers don’t know – and Cate will do whatever she can to keep it this way – is that her past is much more complicated than they can ever imagine. It is that past that Cate constantly tries to bury but at every turn, the threat of being exposed is often the motivation behind a lot of the decisions she makes.
Renee is on a quest for professional success and personal fulfillment. She wants it all—the great, rewarding job and the handsome, loving boyfriend. She comes close, but happiness always seems to be just beyond Renee’s grasp. When the beauty editor position opens up at Gloss, Renee is determined to get the job. She just has to do one thing first: lose weight…and fast. Renee believes that being a size 4 will solve all her problems. When she looks in the mirror, she sees an overweight, unattractive woman despite others telling her that they view her as beautiful and voluptuous. Still, Renee turns to black market diet pills. She quickly begins to drop the weight; however, there are other more serious, dangerous problems that may destroy more than just her self-esteem.
Abby left her job and the place where she lived in a hurry. She had to get out of town. She sought refuge in her successful writer brother, Trey, from an emotionally charged drama that had hit its boiling point. Abby had nowhere else to go, and her brother welcomed her with open arms. Abby is distraught, feels hopeless, and is deeply depressed. Although the love of her brother helps, it is the understanding, empathy and support of her new friends and roommates that allow Abby to open up and finally address the circumstances – both past and present – that have brought her to such an incredulous level of despair.
Pekkanen’s THESE GIRLS is an exceptionally compelling, reflective, richly woven story about three women who find themselves in crisis yet together, emerge as triumphant, strong, and resilient, ready to tackle whatever the world has in store for them. THESE GIRLS will be the definitive novel centered on friendship that women will discuss and share with one another for years and decades to come.
ABOUT SARAH PEKKANEN
Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally bestselling author of The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat and the original short estory “All is Bright.” Her novels have won rave reviews from O, The Oprah Magazine, People, Harper’s Bazaar and The Washington Post. You can visit her at her Web site, HERE!