Candace Bushnell's 'Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel' Book Review

By Jackie Morrison,

This prequel to the acclaimed Sex and the City tracks the humble start of one Carrie Bradshaw. Back when she was a newcomer to the Big Apple, before she started writing, and pre-Mr. Big or the other single ladies, Carrie was a country girl in Manhattan. Bushnell creates a younger version of her famous character and how her life was shaped by New York during the early years in the city.

The story begins in summer where we find Carrie still getting to know New York, shopping in vintage stores, attending wild gatherings, and falling in love with her first New York man. Carrie isn't a writer yet, far from her big break in publishing, and only starting to fine tune her craft with actual writing classes. This also introduces us more to how she connected with Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha and what their relationships were like back then. It's a bit of a time warp but Bushnell makes the connection between the Carrie we know and the one who was just unfolding.

The Carrie Diaries first introduced us to the childhood of Carrie Bradshaw. It's a departure from the popular TV show because she is raised by a widower. The personality is similar enough to Sarah Jessica Parker's rendition and it is both a good young adult read as it is to long-time Bushnell fans. It is endearing to read about Carrie breaking into Manhattan and creating her social circle. This is something fans want to know: how she transformed into a true New York icon.

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