review, U.S.

Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan

multiple listingsOne of the things I’ve been reading lately is something I thing publishers should market as dramedys. It has less baggage than the term “chick lit,” and since the term has been around in the tv realm for awhile, why not use it in publishing too? Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan is a dramedy written by someone who was a television writer on Mad Men and The United States of Tara, which made me think this would be my kind of book.

McMillan’s background in screenwriting meant I was expecting good characters and drama, and overall I wasn’t disappointed. Multiple Listings is the story of Nicki, a single mother who runs a successful home appraisal business who is at a relationship crossroads and then hits a family crossroads as her long-estranged father returns to her life.  McMillan gets the characters and the emotional beats of a distant family down. Frankly, the only character I felt was lacking fits the category I find in lots of books:  the nearly-perfect love interest who does no wrong sometimes feels like an afterthought of a character.

Overall, though, the characters felt like they were in a kind of indie movie that I like. Some troubles/ troubled people all together. The one thing I didn’t like was when the  self-help focus got a little too tell-y for me, but there was enough to balance out those sections that impressed me.

This book reminded me thematically of Kitchens of the Great Midwest, which tried to do more with structure (interlocking stories with characters in the same orbit) than this particular book did. I’m 24not sure why one book is marketed as more literary while this one is deemed more relationship-y, but why not just lump into the non-gendered term of dramedy? That’s my proposal.

Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan”

  1. I like that term ‘dramedy’ better than I do ‘chick lit,’ Rebecca. The fact is, those genre-crossing books are hard to label, and in some ways, that’s what makes them appealing. But it can be harder to market them. I’m glad you weren’t disappointed in this one.

    1. Thanks, Margot. I’m always happy when I try a new author and I like her stuff. BTW, on the crime fiction front, did you see that the new Kate Medina is out in the UK? I loved White Crocodile.

  2. This sounds like it could be interesting, and I like finding another label for it other than chick lit. Just as there are good cozies (although I avoid them in general), I am sure that there is good chick lit but the problem is find those books.

    1. I know! Sometimes I find an author I like who only publishes a couple books before they stop publishing, which is frustrating since I’m used to following crime writers who publish over decades.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s