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The Art of Undressing

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The story set in New York City begins as conservative twenty-something Ginger Levine moves back in with her uninhibited former exotic dancer mother, Coco. Though Coco is 43, Ginger finds men including her own boyfriend ogling over her mother. While Coco wears anything and everything that appears daring, sexy, and outrageous, Ginger goes to the opposite extreme, dressing plain and not sexy, and she doesn’t like to reveal herself even to her boyfriend.

Ginger begins a new venture as she starts cooking school partly paid for by her uninvolved and unemotional father. Of course, she meets Tom in class and can’t stop thinking about him, but the class ingénue has already claimed him. To make things more difficult for Ginger, the instructor verbally abuses her making her feel like a lousy student.

Coco no longer dances as she’s old by dancer standards. Despite her footloose and fancy-free attitude, she actually prefers the old style of exotic dancing before lap-dancing came along. She holds classes covering how to strip, dance, seduce, and generally feel good about being a woman. Ginger helps sell related wares at the end of class.

Her father’s wife passes away and he asks Ginger to help with her things. She sees it as an opportunity to get to know her father and her 13-year-old step-sister in spite of her mother’s warning not to do it. She learns a few things about her father and his other family during the process.

I relate to Ginger. I don’t want to be a chef, but I understand how hard it is to try to dress and feel sexy when it’s not your style. Women like Ginger hide their bodies and constantly doubt their looks, talents, or both. The characters in the story are diverse enough that a reader will connect to at least one of them.

Meanwhile, since Tom is dating another woman, Ginger gets to know a talented chef. This scenario ensures you don’t figure out who she ends up with, if anyone. So it’s not your typical, predictable chick lit. The only thing missing from the wonderful book is closure on the dead step-mother’s journal. Lehmann includes humor, conflict, and warm-hearted moments in her easy-to-read and pleasurable story. This is my first “summer” fiction and gets me off to a great start with my summer reading.

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About Meryl K Evans

Meryl K. Evans, Content Maven, is the author of "Brilliant Outlook Pocketbook" and the co-author of "Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites." She has written and edited for a bunch of places online and off. A native Texan, she lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas with her husband and three kiddos.
  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Sounds like a good read Meryl, thanks for this.

  • brandon

    sounds nice lol