This book was a marked improvement over ‘Dancing Bearfoot.’ It still wasn’t great though.
We still have a lot of girl hate, slut-shaming, and the denigrating of femininity “performed wrong” that feminists are usually guilty of. I’d put money on it that Zoe Chant is a feminist. This is not true across the board for ALL feminists. But a good deal of feminists are the worst fucking misogynists I’ve ever met. They’re just really sneaky about it.
In Chant’s stories, we see the Madonna-Whore complex struggled with right there on the page. Women can be horny, but not TOO forward. God forbid a woman make the first move. A woman should always look good on accident. Any woman who likes expensive clothes or accessories is to be laughed at. Any woman who puts on “too much” makeup is a thirsty old clown.
Just look at the way the sexually-assertive conventionally feminine women are described in Chant’s novel’s. On page 38, “He realized belatedly that there was a woman trying to make conversation with him, batting mascara-crusted eyelashes at him.”
Chant literally out here calling sexually-assertive feminine women crusty.
It’s not as bad in this book as it was in ‘Dancing Bearfoot,’ where we got to see flirtatious women called “vultures” and Harriet was supposed to be the villain, even though she did literally nothing wrong.
At least in this book, Harriet finally comes across as the villain we’re supposed to see her as. She abandons her son. It doesn’t get more villainous than that.
Then again, didn’t Shaun do exactly the same thing?
The choice to use a deadbeat dad in a single dad romance is a strange one. The man’s responsibility and nurturing personality is the appeal for this subgenre.
But Shaun is not responsible or nurturing. Like every other deadbeat dad, he blames the fact that he hasn’t seen his own kid in years on his “bitch ex-wife.” My dude, STFU. If you wanted to, you would have.
This was the factor that made Shaun absolutely irredeemable in my eyes. I never grew to like him over the course of the entire book.
He used his ex-wife as an excuse to not be a father. Throw the whole fucking man away.
And even after he becomes the sole caretaker of his young son, he still really fucking sucks as a father. A good parent does not denigrate their child’s mother in front of them. He literally says to his preschool-aged child, “Mommy did a lot of things I don’t agree with.”
Having one parent openly disparage the other is the sort of thing that really fucks a kid up. Shaun is a shit father. I didn’t like anything about him.
Now, there were a few redeeming things about this book. I like Andrea a lot (just wish she had better taste in men.) I liked all of the sweet interactions between Andrea and Trevor.
All the chaos at Patricia’s wedding was really fun, but I liked how it all mostly ended up resolved. Trevor’s little spat with Clara was adorable. I’d actually kind of die for a spin-off years in the future where Trevor and Clara end up as a couple. That would be super sweet.
As always, Chant’s stories are cute and quirky and full of humor.
She’s just always gotta throw in some problematic shit to spoil all the fun.