A couple of months ago, I watched the movie Shopgirl, starring Steve Martin and Claire Danes. It was a good movie, slow and subtle and interesting, so I picked up the book to read on the plane during my last trip back to the States.
The book, written by Steve Martin, was a delight. It is written in the third person omniscient, allowing the narrator to fill us in on the characters thoughts and emotions. The story is simple and concise. Martin, the author, does not write a thousand details but prefers to sketch simple outlines instead, letting the characters fill in the shadings and colors of the canvas.
The story is equal parts love story and coming of age story, albeit without the typical Hollywood ending. Mirabelle is a lonely, artistic girl, waiting to find herself in uptown L.A., where she works as a shopgirl. She finds herself drawn into the lives of two different men, for very different reasons. One is older, wealthy, and charming, the other is immature, broke, and nerdy.
I really enjoyed the flow of the prose and the seeming ease with which Martin wrote the characters and story. It was an easy read for those who wanted it, with layers of subtext that could be read into it, if the reader chose to do so.
Highly recommended for anyone who likes their romances mixed with a dash of bittersweet sentiment.