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The Wonder Spot

by Melissa Bank

ISBN 0143037218 / 9780143037217 / 0-14-303721-8
Publisher Penguin Books
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

Six years after her amazingly successful debut, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Melissa Bank rewards her fans for their patience with The Wonder Spot, a refreshingly honest interpretation of one young woman's journey into adulthood. As we follow heroine Sophie Applebaum through a comfortable, yet awkward childhood in suburban Pennsylvania to the challenges of finding love and a career in midtown Manhattan, The Wonder Spot is never guilty of the self-indulgent traps set by other members of the Chick Lit genre Bank helped launch.

We first meet the Applebaum clan on their way to cousin Rebecca's bat mitzvah in Chappaqua, New York, where Sophie ends up sneaking cigarettes in the woods with a handsome eighth grader one year her senior. Yet even this minor rebellion is more charming than anything else; as with most of her future transgressions, Sophie is less the instigator than the innocent witness. Defining moments in Sophie's life are revealed through her relationships: an almost mythical college roommate named Venice; her charismatic yet capricious older brother; her brilliant younger brother; her unpenetrable father; and her hilarious grandmother, who takes it upon herself to save her "Sophila" from "impending spinsterhood." Of course no real journey into young womanhood is complete without a series of committment phobic, potentially deliquent, overly nice men whose appearances seem less about love than about demonstrating our heroine's inability to ever truly be comfortable with herself. As Sophie observes during a seventh grade skating party, "I felt sure that everyone was looking at me and then realized that no one was, and i experienced the distinct shame of each."

Undeniably clever, occasionally hilarious, and often poignant, The Wonder Spot is captivating enough for readers to forgive Sophie's indecisive, self-destructive tendancies and simply bask in her sincerity. --Gisele Toueg

Wonder Woman: An Amazon.com Interview with Melissa Bank

Melissa Bank's bestselling 1999 debut, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, took readers by storm and heralded the wave of Chick Lit to follow in its wake. Bank is back with her new book, The Wonder Spot, a series of interconnected stories chronicling the bittersweet misadventures of middle-child Sophie Applebaum, from adolescence to adulthood. Amazon.com senior editor Brad Thomas Parsons exchanged e-mail with Bank to talk about writer's block, Curtis Sittenfeld's very public take-down in the Sunday Times, and the dreaded "c" word--Chick Lit.

Read our Amazon.com interview with Melissa Bank


Wonder Woman: An Amazon.com Interview with Melissa Bank
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