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Shopgirl

by Steve Martin

More serious than you might expect from comedian Steve Martin, this novel is really an examination of shallow American culture. Mirabelle, not being shallow at all, struggles to keep her head above water and lead a reasonably 'happy' life. At times poignant, but also highly amusing, this book will make you battle with your emotions.

Extract

She stands over the glove counter, and from her secluded outpost looks far across the hall toward the couture department. When the view is reversed, and a couture girl bothers to send a glance toward her, Mirabelle looks like a puppy standing on its hind legs, and the two brown dots of her eyes, set in the china plate of her face make her seem very cute and noticeable. ... the couture department fills with women who are unlikely to notice the slender girl standing at one end of the hallowed hall. They are the Wives of Important Men.

Parallels

Fen by Freya North
 

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