Continuity Girl

The Continuity Girl

by Leah McLaren

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I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is The Continuity Girl by Leah McLaren.

Everybody’s got to have a hobby, be it collecting purses, or tiny dogs, tormenting your ex or bingeing and purging. You’ve got to have something to do. Personally, my hobbies are gardening and complaining. It fills the hours. There is a point at which little hobbies become obsessions, and that’s where you sadly shake your head at your friend, once a normal person, now a mommy. If people spent as much time obsessing over anyone else the way they do over their kids, the police would be called in. Now, I’m sure some of you are nodding in agreement, because your last non-mommy friend just announced that she’s trading in her beloved Honda Del Sol convertible for a Volvo, and we all know what that means, and the rest of you are thinking, this broad obviously has no children and is also selfish and lazy. Hey, that’s not almost completely true!

Even if the whole baby thing has passed you by, you certainly know someone who shows up for work one day clutching a Baby Gap catalogue, saying, I want one of those, and she’s not pointing to the darling tiny overalls — hell, I want those too — but the tousle-haired little model.  And yes, I agree, babies are cute, but so are Manolo sandals, and the shoes won’t throw up on you.

Meredith, the heroine of The Continuity Girl seems to be in the ‘sandals are cuter’ camp, at least at first. But when she succumbs to the lure of the gurgling and toothless, she realizes that all that stands in her way is being single and jobless in a strange country — and McLaren’s London is very strange indeed. Meredith is a great character, tightly wound and a little uptight, and surrounded by gloriously English loonies. Her adventures searching for a Daddy donor among royalty and in the movie industry are extremely funny and also quite touching, particularly when Meredith must face her own biological history.

Leah McLaren lives in Canada where she — among many other things — writes a column for the Globe and Mail newspaper.

The book is The Continuity Girl by Leah McLaren. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Continuity Girl by Leah McLaren.

Meredith is a tightly wound and devoted to her career in the movies — she basically makes sure the film appears in the right order on screen. So when circumstance finds her jobless in London, it only follows that she decides its time to have a baby. Much of the book follows her attempts to find the Daddy donor among the German expressionist photographers, the aristocratically deranged English royalty, and with the help of transatlantic calls from her suspiciously handsome gynecologist, which sounds weird and a little creepy but was actually quite charming. While The Continuity Girl‘s dilemma is not one I’ve ever had personally, I couldn’t resist Leah McLaren’s dry, often hilarious writing, and the section set in Italy made me extremely jealous of the time she lived there. The Continuity Girl, by Leah McLaren. That’s Saturday at 6pm east and Sunday at 10am east on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Continuity Girl by Leah McLaren.

This book is a love story, but the love affair is not between a man and a woman, but between Meredith, our heroine, and her unborn, unconceived, completely theoretical child.  That Meredith isn’t in a relationship and is jobless in a foreign country just means she has more time to devote to her search for a donor. The Continuity Girl has a great cast of characters, from the ageing-but-still-fabulous actress to the aristocratically loony falconer, to Meredith’s monumentally inappropriate mother. Leah McLaren will be my guest this weekend to talk about The Continuity Girl, why women want those imaginary babies, and that horrible time she had to live in a villa in Italy to do research, poor thing. Fiction Nation is on Saturday at 6pm east and Sunday at 10am east on on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Continuity Girl by Leah McLaren.

A continuity girl is the person on the movie set who makes sure that the actress is wearing the same earrings through the whole scene and that the coffee cups don’t magically refill themselves. Meredith is good at her job, being pretty detail oriented, but things fall apart when she finds herself out of work and in London. At that exact moment, her biological clock goes off, and the search is on — not for a husband, she’s pretty clear about not wanting one of those — Meredith is searching for a donor. The Continuity Girl is full of hilariously off-center characters, and the trip to the suburban kiddie birthday party, which may or may not feature a dead clown, was one of the funniest things I’ve read in ages. Leah McLaren is my guest this weekend to talk about The Continuity Girl and the quest for single motherhood at 6pm east Saturday and 10am east on Sunday on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


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