Review

Cheet

by Anna Davis



Welcome to the world of Kathryn Cheet, a London cabdriver by night,
and a juggler of lovers the rest of her waking 24 hours. Anna Davis
makes her American debut with CHEET, one of many books written for
the sub-genre now known as "Chick-Lit." The term has taken on
derogatory connotations in certain circles, as refreshingly bright
novels such as BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY came across as new and fun,
while more current titles are starting to show their wear and tear
with mediocre plots and same old stories.

However, CHEET is slightly different. While many Chick-Lit books
are light and fluffy, such as the wonderful SHOPAHOLIC books by
Sophie Kinsella, CHEET starts out as such, but turns a dark corner
in the second half of the book. In the first half, the reader is
introduced to Kathryn (or "Kitty" or "Kat" or "Kathy", depending on
which lover she is talking with), who is busy juggling her busy sex
life. At the height of the novel she is involved with five lovers,
and to keep things straight, she uses five different cell phones,
each of which is differentiated not only by a unique phone number,
but also by its own unique color.

And each lover is as different as his phone color: Joel is her
young and somewhat-inexperienced stud. He is mama's boy, sweet and
loving but is much too young for Kathryn. Stef is a more dangerous
type, involved in God knows what. Kathryn is often suspicious of
his business dealings, but she keeps her nose out of it. Jonny is
an ex-rock-and-roller, a guitar player who she once had a crush on
in her younger years, but is now on a downward slide due to drugs
and a lot of bad luck. Richard is a divorced man with a young
daughter, and he's clearly in love with Kathryn. And Amy is
Kathryn's lesbian lover. Amy is always trying to convince Kathryn
to come to the other side, saying that Kathy is really a lesbian
too. Kathryn has yet to be convinced (she's having too much fun
with both sexes).

Kathryn sees nothing wrong with the way she leads her life. None of
the five lovers is aware of the other, although she has some near
misses on a few dates. Meeting one lover while on a date with
another is quite the experience, and it's any wonder why she
continues to live such a tangled life.

In the opening chapter, Kathryn picks up two men in her cab; one of
them soon becomes a regular part of her life. She calls him Twinkle
in her mind, although his "real" name is Craig. As she does with
all her lovers, she keeps most of her personal information close to
her chest, and so she does the same with Craig. Craig seems
fascinated with the mysterious Kathryn and she with him, mainly
because he's filthy rich, but there is something about him that she
likes. For there is one thing that both Craig and Kathryn have in
common --- neither is telling the whole truth. Kathryn starts to
get an odd feeling about Craig and soon finds out that he is not
who he says he is.

While she furthers her relationship with Craig, her other love
lives start to take a nasty turn. Amy starts to suspect that
Kathryn is cheating on her, and vice versa. Joel starts to hide
things from Kathryn, and she begins to suspect that his life has
taken on a seedier side and is in danger. Jonny disappears days on
end, which worries the hell out of Kathryn. Stef's business
dealings are getting so shady that she knows he's getting in too
deep. And Richard's ex-wife is back in his life.

With this all going on at the same time, Kathryn is also dealing
with her past: a father who, due to the death of her mother, was
emotionally absent for a good part of Kathryn's life. As she starts
to deal with her father, the book definitely steps into a more
serious tone, and unlike other Chick-Lit books, CHEET actually
shows some meat. This is a wonderful surprise, as it totally caught
me off guard, and I found that this is not your usual formula
book.

Having read and enjoyed CHEET, I am now totally sold on the idea
that Chick-Lit can be something more than just lightweight reading.
Fluff books are fun, but sometimes it is good to have a little
substance.

Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton (Ratmammy@lofton.org) on January 21, 2011

Cheet
by Anna Davis

  • Publication Date: May 27, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume
  • ISBN-10: 0452284295
  • ISBN-13: 9780452284296