Saturday, January 5, 2008

How Nancy Drew Saved My Life

How Nancy Drew Saved My Life by Lauren Baratz-Logsted is not the first Red Dress Ink ("chick lit") book I've read with a Jewish heroine; in fact, the heroine, Charlotte Bell, is the least "Jewish" Jewish heroine I've read from this Harlequin imprint! (Other examples would be Matzo Ball Heiress and You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs, the heroines of which are much more in tune with their Jewish heritage than Charlotte.)

The synopsis: Charlotte, a former child actress in a famous line of commercials, accepts a nanny position with the ambassador to Iceland, partly to escape her aunt's household, and partly to escape her previous ambassador boss, with whom she had a failed relationship.

I don't think you can get much more "fish out of water" than a short, brunette, Jewish woman in Iceland, where nearly everyone is tall and blond and Protestant.

Of course, with Nancy Drew in the title, you have to know that there is a mystery to solve. Because it's a Harlequin, there is a romance. Because it's chick lit, there are good friends at a bar, and a strange boss, and a failed romance to complain about.

If you are a fan of either Nancy Drew or Jane Eyre, this is definitely the book for you. So many allusions to both! If not, I still think you'd enjoy this book. It's one of the better Red Dress Ink books I've ever read, and I've read quite a few.

In terms of Jewish literature, perhaps that label only loosely applies to this book. Regardless, I am glad I read it and offer it as the first book I've completed in the challenge.

author's website:


  1. Thank you so much for the kind words about my book! I know what you mean about Charlotte being a not-very-Jewish Jewish heroine. Another RDI book of mine, A Little Change of Face, also features a not-very-Jewish Jewish heroine. Judaism has such a wide range of practitioners, from the ultra-Orthodox to characters like Charlotte and Scarlett who say of themselves in one way or another, "My Jewishness is more defined by what I am not, than by what I am," and yet they do choose to identify themselves as Jews, as do I. Hope that all makes sense, and thanks again!

  2. Lauren, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate your explanation, and it makes perfect sense. Sometimes I feel as if I'm the fish out of water, being a Midwestern Protestant :-)

    Thanks again, and I look forward to reading your other novels.


This challenge is no longer officially running. It's being left up so you can find good books to read and read the reviews. Comments are moderated and are NOT gone through often. So don't expect to see your comment show up fast.