Hand-Me-Down Paperback – Jun 1 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
After growing up in the shadow of sisters Charlotte, a stunning swimsuit model, and Emily, a brilliant feminist scholar, 29-year-old Anne Olsen has a natural aversion to anything secondhand—and that especially includes her sister Charlotte's ex-boyfriend Ian, who's a cute, available antiques dealer. But despite her deep fear of ancient rugs and her lasting case of VD ("Vague Dissatisfaction"), this namesake to the least remarkable of the Brontë sisters proves an irresistible heroine in Nichols's second novel (after Tales of a Drama Queen). Anne's zany enthusiasm for life, evidenced in her ill-fated attempt at window design during her brief employ at Banana Republic, or her efforts to preserve a tract of pristine Santa Barbara property while working at her boyfriend Rip's real estate office, will warm readers' hearts, as will her genuine love for her superstar sisters. No bitter edge spoils the sweetness of Nichols's delectable tale, which heats up when Anne announces her love for Rip but can't shake the feeling that Ian might just be a better fit. Nichols is one of chick lit's brightest lights, and here she delivers a funny, utterly winning story of family, love and self-discovery.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Anne Olsen has never found it easy to be the youngest of three sisters. Her eldest sister, Charlotte, is a former swimsuit model with a rich husband and three perfect children. Her middle sister, Emily, is an academic who published a revolutionary dissertation on pornography and feminism. Anne has never quite found what she wants to do, and has drifted from retail jobs to secretarial positions. At 29, she's working for a realty company and dating the owner, Rip Parsons. Usually unable to commit, Anne is making a genuine effort to give her relationship with Rip a chance, despite her crush on Charlotte's high-school boyfriend, Ian, who has recently come back into her life. But it's Ian, not Rip, who is inspiring Anne to make something of herself and actually find something--anything--she feels passionate about. Nichols' second novel is a delightful tale about a young woman coming into her own and finding love in the process. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In this latest offering, we have Annie (Anne). She is tired of living in the shadow of her two older sisters- one is a famous swimsuit model and the other is a bestselling author. Not only that but her life growing up as the youngest child has always been difficult. She often ended up with the oldest and most worn items.
As a result, Annie doesn't like anything old or used, and has a very hard time committing. Now 29 years old, she is vaguely happy with her boyfriend Rip, a decent job (working as an Office Manager for Rip), and gets to spend time with her sisters and their children. However, she isn't quite satisfied with her life. Especially when Ian, her childhood crush (and older sister's ex-boyfriend) keeps showing up. It soon becomes clear that Annie isn't over her "crush" on Ian. But she refuses to settle with one of her sisters' ex-boyfriends. Plus, he isn't interested in her anyway... he has a fiance, right?
"Hand-Me-Down" was a often hilarious and enjoyable read. Lee Nichols manages to really get us in the head of the main character. Although the plot seems at a sort of stand-still through a lot of the book, it is still fun to read because of the funny and endearing scrapes/situations that Annie gets herself into. She is definitely one of those characters that "make" the book.
As with this author's last book, the reading was fresh, fun and kept me turning pages. Without giving any spoilers, however, the only thing I was a little disappointed about with this book was the romance aspect, which was a bit on the bland side.
Overall however, I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a wonderful, hilarious and cute novel with great characters. I'm eager to see what this author comes up with next!
Ian, now engaged, and owner of a business Anne cannot condone or accept (an antique shop), forms a friendship with Anne, and the two start a Thursday night ritual of cocktails. After meeting his fiancé Helene, Anne finds herself jealous, and Rip realizes that his "polliwog" may have eyes for another. As Ian and Anne spend more and more time together, and he's supportive of her quest to develop a parcel of land for open space, she discovers that she does indeed have feelings for him, but is unsure if she can settle for a hand-me-down boyfriend, especially one that worked his way through the Olsen sisters.
Nichol's latest is an engaging and very amusing story of one woman's quest to find herself and carve out her own path, as she compares herself to the many accomplishments of her older sisters. At time's Anne is a bit over the top (for instance, the whole chip thing). The poignant, humorous, and well-written story will resonate with anyone with an older sibling.