Book Note

Chic lit

A disclaimer: I consider Plum Sykes, author of THE DEBUTANTE DIVORCÉE (Miramax Books), a friend. I was her editor at Vogue, where the Oxford-educated writer still occasionally turns out smart, witty prose. Plum is often dumped—and that's the word for it—into the genre known as chick lit. But she's far from that. Her first novel, Bergdorf Blondes, was inspired by Anita Loos's period piece Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. "I wanted to write something lovely and wicked, about girls looking for love and romance and marriage," she told me. And so she did. Her latest picks up where the previous confection left off, with newly divorced girls on the go, high-heeling their way through a plethora of over-the-top, if-you-have-to-ask-you-don't-belong addresses. Plum's frothy fare may not be everyone's samovar of coffee. But then, as her heroines know, one man's cappuccino is an other's triple venti, extra hot, with skim milk. No foam, please.