Although not a favorite among critics, I found Lauren Weisberger’s Chasing Harry Winston to be highly entertaining and fun. It tells the story of three best friends, Emmy, Adriana and Leigh, who, on the verge of turning thirty create a pact (bet?) to drastically change their lives. Emmy vows to do away with serial monogamy and play the field a bit. Adriana decides to mend her boy-hopping ways and settle into a full-fledged relationship. Leigh chooses not to do anything at first because her life seems perfect, but as the story progresses we see that that may not be the case after all.
The story unfolds as Emmy, who thinks that her longtime boyfriend is about to propose to her, gets dumped, while Leigh’s boyfriend, Russell, proposes unexpectedly. Emmy is heartbroken because, despite her ex’s cheating ways – something that she overlooked – she was optimistic that they were going to last. She tries to be happy for Leigh, but she can’t help but feel sad. Emmy end up taking a job that requires her to do quite a bit of globe-trotting, as a means to get away and stay busy. I think that her decision to play the field stems from a few things (heartbreak, Leigh’s engagement, etc), but it ultimately turns out to be the best thing she ever does, because it allows her to gain control over her life and date/define relationships on her terms instead of just going along with whatever the guy thinks. In the end it pays off by giving her the confidence that she had been lacking; the one thing that will get her exactly what she wants.
Confidence is not something that Adriana is in need of; in fact, at times one could say that she may have too much confidence, if there is such a thing. She lives a carefree, pampered life due to the fact that her parents have a ton of money. Her decision to settle down – or at least attempt to – partially stems from Emmy’s situation (what better way to encourage your friend to change her lifestyle than by changing your own as well?) and partially because, although she does love her life, I think that she was a bit bored with all of it. She needed to add a bit of depth. For her, monogamy was a challenge. She had no problem getting a guy, the question is, would she keep him?
And then there’s Leigh. Throughout the novel, Leigh experiences a bit of emotional turmoil. On paper, her life is perfect. She’s an editor at a major trade publishing house, and she is engaged to one of the city’s most eligible bachelors, but something is off. She doesn’t feel the spark that you’re supposed to feel when you’re in love, but Russell is perfect on paper (and to everybody in her life), so she stays with him. It’s not until Leigh is introduced to Jessie, her new client, and starts traveling to his Hamptons’ home on the weekends to edit his new novel, that she lets these feelings of uncertainty with Russell come to the surface, and starts to explore the idea of not being with him.
Chasing Harry Winston is good for anyone who is in the mood for a really fun, girly read. I think the parts about Emmy are particularly entertaining, as she is the only character who puts a name on her year of boy-hopping, appropriately called “Tour de Whore” (how awesome is that?!). The characters of Adriana and Leigh are great too. All in all, this is a great book that I did not want to put down. I was able to read it in less than a week.