By: Gina Barreca
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 2016
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: April 4, 2016
Gina Barreca’s latest book, If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?, is a collection of tell it like you see it hilarity.
Ms. Barreca wastes no time as she launches into a diatribe of situational comedy that is actually life as we know it. Her perspective is razor sharp and she is all eyes and ears waiting to pounce when it comes to getting her observations down on paper before the thought is lost forever. The book is broken into parts ranging from the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’ in the opening (Part I: “I’m Not Needy; I’m Wanty”) to closing with saying way you see (Part 7: “Seeing Something, Saying Something”). There is a delicious and extremely humorous tone that resonates immediately in this body of work—this broad has chutzpah!
I found myself laughing out loud when she compares the modern woman of today with the woman of yesterday. She focuses on the mega-successful undergarment ‘Spanks’ and keeps it real: “Could you be talked into purchasing a foundation undergarment so restrictive, so unyielding, and so draconian it makes a wetsuit look like a nightgown?...” She is calling today’s gal out and forcing them to recognize these amazing garments (a/k/a Spanks) for what they really are...a girdle! Remember? Mom wore one! Barreca’s refreshing and quite audible voice rings loud and clear from the rafters across the pages. She has arrived and through the conduit of her pen, is comfortable in her own skin to call it how she sees it.
It did not take long to settle into the hilarity of this book and it took even less time to recognize Ms. Barreca channels an infamously famous person who delivered such bravado back in the day: Erma Bombeck. Conversely, Erma was a woman before her time and (thankfully), Barreca is unafraid to carry the torch and tell it like she sees it. Ms. Barecca has a style and approach of taking no prisoners as she pens her views brashly and unabashedly—topics ranging from sex to relationships to shopping and the uncanny and never-ending differences between man and woman. Yet she ties the premise together beautifully time and again as she points out the stark opposites and the wonder of how such co-habitation continues to work—for the most part. I say thank you for a delight of a read Ms. Barreca!
Quill says: This book is laugh out loud engaging and delivers many ‘aha’ moments throughout.