Chic Lit: Comparing Bergdorf Blonds & Can You Keep a Secret
Bergdorf Blonds by Plum Sykes and Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella are two fast paced Chic Lit books that follow the exploits of twenty-something girls. The books are similar in several ways. Each main character begins the story with a boyfriend, who is gorgeous but inattentive. The main characters are British, although the unnamed narrator of Bergdorf Blonds resides in NYC and is a part of high society.
Both books are fantastically funny, each tapping into the naivety of the main character. Sykes brings more of a sardonic wit, writing things like, “mascara clots are a federal crime here,” and “a fashion tantrum was brewing” (39). Meanwhile, Kinsella keeps the humor mixed in with a ping of compassion. Can You Keep a Secret’s main character, Emma Corrigan has to over come many obstacles including an awful attention-grabbing cousin and the desire to succeed at work.
The main love interests are lovable and respectful; the token best friends are beautiful yet flawed. These books are Chic Lit at its finest. They makeup for the common-plot-line-obstacle with fantastic writing. The characters jump off the page with detailed descriptions and sharp dialogue.
Chick Lit sometimes gets a bad wrap. The female characters are rarely portrayed as geniuses and the motivation to attain love at any cost can seem un-feminist. But as readers, we feel for the characters and want them to succeed, to have their happy ending. Usually, the young women become stronger from their journey and that’s really something to really cheer about. Not to forget, of course, that these books are fiction, stretching perceptions of reality for entertainment.
Overall, Bergdorf Blonds and Can You Keep a Secret accomplish this ultimate goal: they’re wildly entertaining.