The Man of My Dreams

  • Type: Books
  • By: Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: General Fiction
  • Recommended by: Kate N.
  • ISBN/UPC: 1400064767
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An awkward teen becomes a slightly-less-awkward woman.

Don’t let the title fool you: Sittenfeld, author of the brilliant Prep, has not written a cloying novel about a woman single-mindedly looking for “the one”. The Man of My Dreams follows Hannah Gavener from adolescence to college and into the working world, exploring her relationships with parents, siblings, men and best friends. Sittenfeld is a master at portraying social awkwardness, and her descriptions of Hannah’s idiosyncrasies may ring an embarrassing bell with women in their 20s and beyond. (Of a seemingly-romantic moment, she writes: “One of the times when he was lying in my lap in front of the TV, and he looked up at me, he gazed at me, and I should have gazed back, but instead I wondered if he could see my nose hair, and I tilted my head so we were no longer making eye contact.”) Sittenfeld’s grasp of human nature and the dynamics of relationships elevate this far above the usual fare; her ear for dialogue is flawless, her sense of humor dry but sincere, her affection for the characters obvious. Hannah may not be the most glamorous character, but she is utterly relatable and ultimately triumphant.