Belle in the Big Apple is a light tale of an ambitious southern twenty-something with perfectly coiffed blonde hair and the triple threat of charm, money, and a granddaddy with connections. Belle is a big fish in a small pond literally covering crayfish festivals for her family owned newspaper when she decides that she’ll never be considered a serious journalist unless she expands her horizons. Much to her family’s chagrin Belle takes off for New York City where she has a typical harrowing moving-in experience, pounds the pavement in painful heels, and finally has her purse stolen before giving in and asking granddaddy to get her an interview.
With his assistance Belle lands a low-level production assistant position at ANC, a thinly veiled take-off on the over-the-top conservative FOX News Network where the author, Brooke Parkhurst, once paid her dues. Then the fun truly begins as Belle learns the ropes of network news all the while contending with her coke snorting producer, a back stabbing frenemy, and the tacky advances of the lead male anchor. Somehow, amidst all of this chaos and an intense election related scandal, Belle never loses her southern charm as illustrated by the abundance of recipes that work their way into the novel’s plot including: Debutant Tea Cakes, Modern Girl Make-at-Home Tuna Tartare, and Bribe-Your-Coworkers Pound Cake. Personally, I feel that the inclusion of recipes is an exciting enhancement to the chick-lit genre and I hope to see more of this trend in the future.
Prepare to tuck this book into your carry-on luggage. This is a quick and perky read, perfect for an upcoming lazy day at the beach or even a quiet afternoon at home accompanied by a bubbly glass of champagne or two. Belle in the Big Apple will be released on September 16, 2008.