clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.
Clutch was an enjoyable read and while it felt more like a collection of dating disaster vignettes than an easy flowing story, watching Caroline struggle through them was equal parts frustrating and entertaining. The blurb describes Caroline as overly-accommodating and I have to agree with that assessment completely. After the first chapter, which introduces us to Caroline and Mike and shows how they met and managed to remain best friends despite a single night of passion, each subsequent chapter shows us her misadventures in dating. For a single gal, Caroline is quick to give out her phone number to a guy she’s just met and she does this over and over and over – that habit drove me a bit batty. But her overly-accommodating personality didn’t stop there. For several of the guys, especially the “Hobo”, she bends over backwards in her attempts to find her happily ever after – her “Clutch.” I will say that the doctor was probably lucky he hung up on Caroline before she had a chance to get her wits together because I don’t know of a single southern woman who wouldn’t have blasted him for his assumptions and laid into him for what he said – her understandable shock is the only thing that kept him from having his ears blistered. While the vignette-style presentation was a little jarring for me at times, Clutch was a fun read and well worth the time as I did find myself laughing at Caroline’s antics throughout the novella. That she found her “Clutch” right where it had always been made for a great ending.