Jane Green's first novel, Straight Talking (1997), set the bar high for the host of "chick lit" authors who followed in her wake.
Protagonist Tasha works as a producer on a top-rated British morning show where she has a horrific boss. Tasha and her three roommates—Andy, Emma and Mel—endure the hellish singles scene in London where they encounter a host of attractive, arrogant, clueless, and generally unworthy suitors, each worse than the last.
Mel, depicted as a somewhat frumpy twenty-something, struggles with low self-esteem and gets so nervous about the prospect of a first date that she can barely pull herself together to leave her flat. Andy, quite the opposite of Mel, seems to be on an endless quest to find eligible men she can take to bed. And Emma, perhaps the luckiest and most stable of the four friends, works to plan the perfect wedding.
Tasha finds herself falling for Simon, who is phobic when it comes to relationships. As she laments his unwillingness to commit, Tasha befriends Adam, Simon's best friend. Unfortunately, Adam develops feelings for Tasha and they are not mutual. Ultimately, she decides to try dating Adam since she has no other prospects, but when a stranger piques her interest, she has a tough decision to make.
Not only does Tasha have boy troubles, but she also struggles to sort out her feelings about her family. Although she was raised by well-to-do parents, for every material object she had, she lacked in love and support. Tasha's less than perfect childhood lands her in therapy where she tries to work through her feelings. Her therapist-guided trips down memory lane lead her to realize that even the most insignificant men from her past left a lasting impression. Readers will find themselves rooting for Tasha to find Mr. Right and live happily ever after.
Jane Green, a native Londoner, now resides in Connecticut. Her other novels include Bookends, The Other Woman, Dune Road, and Jemima J. Green admits to using her personal life and past experiences as fodder for her novels. In an interview with Marie Claire magazine, Green informs readers that Straight Talking was initially titled Passion Junkie, an homage to a quote from William Wharton.