To Go: 68
31. The Dressmaker — Kate Alcott
32. Spin — Catherine McKenzie
Finished reading: June 9, 2013
If I remember correctly, I bought and read Spin in the same day. I was browsing through the BMV and found it, and decided it would be a quick, easy read. It was both. It was also an unexpected heart-tugger.
In Spin, music writer Kate Sandford scores an interview with her dream magazine, The Line, scheduled for her birthday. So she goes out to celebrate, and pays for it the next day when she shows up late to the interview, reeking of booze. It’s no surprise that she doesn’t get the job, but her unimpressive performance convinces one of the editors that she’s perfect for another writing gig: following “It Girl” Amber Sheppard into rehab, and writing the ultimate undercover expose for The Line’s sister publication. If she can get the scoop and complete the full 30-day program, they’ll reconsider her for a position at the magazine.
Kate agrees to the assignment, finding it amusing that the editors think she needs to attend rehab. But during her 30-day stay, she starts to realize that she may have had more of a problem with alcohol than she thought. And when she starts to develop a friendship with Amber, she begins to question whether she can write the story at all.
Spin is a book that is at once sweet and complex, and faces the difficulties of addiction head-on. Kate isn’t always an easy narrator to like, but watching her evolution throughout the book, from denying her problem to finally getting sober and staying that way, feels satisfying, and kept me solidly in her corner.
Worth a mention: McKenzie’s inclusion of a chapter-by-chapter playlist for a book that revolves around a music writer was such a novel idea. I loved listening along as I read, and picked up a few new songs that I really like now. (Apologies by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, for one, is beautiful.)
Next book: The Elegance of the Hedgehog — Muriel Barbery