Clunky as this plot machinery might be, Ms. Pearson does a winning job of making Petra and Bill...as funny and incisive as characters created by, say, Nick Hornby or Stephen Fry, though with considerably more tenderness and felt emotion.
Now it seems to me that this is a fairly classic and insidious example of condescension--"Good little chick-lit novelist! Why, your characters are just as good as the big boys' are, plus your lady-ness gives you bonus! emotional! insight!" ::headpat::
Ahem. The question is what to do with this perception besides wrapping my next fish purchase in the NYT. I went with, "Write a blog post, mentioning that this thing happened and pushed your buttons a bit." Which is where all y'all come in. I'm interested in your thoughts, on other ways to read the sentence quoted above, or just on your own reactions to it. The full review is here.