Picks and Pans Review: Getting Over It

updated 06/26/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/26/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Anna Maxted

Beach book of the week

On first glance, it looks like we're in for another cheeky Bridget Jones's Diary-style novel: The author is a British journalist; the main character, Helen Bradshaw, is a twentysomething Londoner. And right there on the first page—bang!—a diary entry describes dumping a guy who "falls several thousand feet below" acceptable boyfriend material. Before long, though, Helen is hit with a piece of very un-Bridgety news. Her father has suffered a heart attack and is dead at age 59. Helen was not particularly close to her father, which lets her think she won't be much affected by his death. No tears at the funeral, little sympathy for her grieving mother. It isn't until she spends an emotional evening with her new (much nicer) boyfriend that Helen's buried feelings come gushing out. "I don't know who I am anymore," she admits. "I was nothing with my father and I am nothing without him." Over the next few months, Helen slowly begins to come to terms with her dad's death and its effect on her life. Getting Over It is not a downer. While it tells a poignant story of loss and recovery, there are plenty of giggles Helen is every bit as batty as Bridget) to offset the tears. (Regan-Books, $25)

Bottom Line: Affecting tale of tragic loss, told with wit and gumption

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