Laura Hankin’s debut novel Happy and You Know It (my review is HERE)was our June pick for the Let’s Read Rant & Repeat bookclub. Last year when we read it, Jordan and I, actually got to sit down and chat with Hankin, and honestly she’s a dream to speak with. Personally, knowing that an author is willing to chat with fans, just makes me a bigger fan. So when she mentioned her new book was going to be a little witchy and still deal with the social elite of New York society, you know I leaped at the chance to review it before it’s release.
When I spoke with Hankin last year, she mentioned that she had a fascination with the social elite and very wealthy women of NYC. I think we all do in our own ways have this same fascination. I mean if you’re my age you grew up on episodes of Gossip Girl and now have HBO’s Succession to continue feeding the obsession. I digress. In A Special Place for Women, Hankin continues this journey and brings the reader into the elite women’s only club of ‘Nevertheless’. Nevertheless, with monthly dues of $500 and a highly selective criteria, is for the elite women of society who need a space to support each other. This initial premise of a women’s only club is cool but highly resembled the bases of the book The Herd, see my review HERE. I was not a huge fan of that book, so I was a little disappointed AT FIRST.
But unlike The Herd, we follow uncover journalist Jillian who is working to get her life back on track after her magazine shut it’s doors. She’ll do anything to get a writing gig with one of NYC’s biggest papers, including pitching the idea of getting into, and then exposing who runs Nevertheless and what it really even is. Jillian may be in the club but what is she willing to risk to expose Nevertheless to the world?
There are two very distinct parts of this book. Part one is very rom-com centric, witty characters, with somewhat of a predictable plot. Part two of this book….took me on a rollercoaster I was not expecting and dives straight into some very witchy vibes. I won’t say more because it’s best to be surprised sometimes.
Once again Hankin has put together a story blended with the right amounts of humor, cultural commentary, and heart. She really has a knack for taking your typical women’s fiction, aka chick-lit, stories and making them into something truly unique. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
A Special Place for Women comes out May 11, 2021. Huge thank you to Berkley Publishing for my advanced copy for my honest review. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof_books.