Save as Draft

Cavanaugh Lee, Simon & Schuster, $23.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4391-9069-2
Lee, a federal prosecutor by day, makes a foray into chick lit with this autobiographical novel told entirely through e-mail, text, and Web exchanges. Tedious early chapters, during which bubbly protagonist Izabell "Izzy" Chin connects with an eHarmony hopeful named Martin, give way to a winning mix of humor and pathos. After a successful first date, Izzy dumps Martin for her best friend Peter; the two fall hard and get engaged, but the whirlwind coincides with Peter getting a demanding new job. E-mail, Facebook, or text missives show the spark fading as Peter gives in to his workaholic boss's demands and Izzy drifts back to Martin. Lee's inherently intimate format succeeds most when a character's thoughts are revealed in unsent e-mails ("save as Draft"), revealing the outcomes that could have been had more fearless actions been taken and how matters are misinterpreted and misunderstood. Lee further complicates her formal stew with comic exchanges between friends addressing online dating and the true nature of marriage with decidedly mixed results. This is an honest and oddly relatable novel that unfolds in a sometimes clunky format. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
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FORMATS
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-1-4391-9071-5
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4391-9072-2
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