Toronto author's book speaks to over-40 crowd
The “chick lit” genre typically involves humorous stories about women in their 20s searching for a spouse and starting their careers.
Classic examples include Sophie Kinsella's “Shopaholic” series and Helen Fielding's “Bridget Jones Diary.”
While Toronto author Kate Hilton's new book, “The Hole in the Middle,” is definitely aimed at a female audience, its main character is a slightly more mature woman, with more mature problems.
Sophie has just turned 40, and lives a busy life as a wife and mom, while still holding down a job as the director of communications at a hospital.
Her nostalgia for what she perceives as a simpler time in her life — her 20s — manifests itself when an ex-boyfriend comes back into her life.
These days, women are expected to do it all — have successful careers and still be “Martha Stewart” in the kitchen, said Hilton, who visited Sudbury late last month to promote her book.
“I'm not sure how we ended up in this situation where every aspect of our life is just a tremendous struggle to perform,” she said. “I think a lot of women crack under the pressure.”
Hilton said she's “amazed and delighted” by how many working moms have told her the book accurately captures the realities of their lives.
Being a busy working mom is definitely something she's familiar with. A lawyer by training, Hilton worked for many years as a capital campaign fundraiser while still dealing with the demands of being a wife and the mom of two.
Hilton, now 42, said she always wanted to write a book, and when she reached her late 30s, she acted on her dream, as her life wasn't going to get any less demanding.
She started writing for three hours each Sunday afternoon, and after three years, she'd produced a book. When she was finished writing, she wasn't able to interest any publishers, and so she self-published last spring.
Hilton said the book did relatively well in its self-published form, and captured the attention of Harper Collins, who published their own version just before Christmas. It's now reached the Globe and Mail's bestseller list.
“It's been this funny journey,” said Hilton, who has now quit her day job to focus on her writing and work as an advertising consultant. “For a book that no one wanted originally, people have embraced it. It's very exciting.”
The book, which costs $19.99, is available in Sudbury at Chapters, as well as through online retailers such as Amazon and Indigo.
For more information, visit www.katehilton.com.
Northern Life will be giving away two signed copies of “The Hole in the Middle.” Enter the contest by visiting our Facebook page.