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New Fiction: 'Thin Rich Bitches' of Dover

A local author recently released her fictional novel about female one-upsmanship set in the town of Dover, Mass.

Although the newly released fictional novel "Thin Rich Bitches" is set in Dover, and some of the characters are inspired by real residents, author Janet Josselyn won't be naming any names.

The online-only book, released Tuesday, follows the story of Pippin Snowe, a recent divorcée who moved from Boston's Back Bay to a rundown old farmhouse in Dover she inherited from her great aunt, along with her 10-year-old son Zeke.

The main character finds that she is out of her element and out of her league when she is introduced to the world of female one-upsmanship in town.

"She finds herself amongst a group of people who are more blessed financially and physically than she - and in every way,” Josselyn said. “She gets a job with a local architect designing kitchens for wealthy Dover women who treat her like the hired help, which she is.”

Josselyn said the story is about “how the character progresses from trying to play a game she’s not really good at or well-equipped for, to finding out how she can be herself in this community and be successful.”

Along the way she tries her hand at speed dating, gets spat on by a llama and gives a dog a shiatsu massage.

Although Josselyn insists that the snooty characters portrayed in the book are fictional, she said she found inspiration from people she knows from all over the place, not just in Dover.

"A skinny rich bitch is a woman who is extremely conscious of her appearance, who is very slender, has ample money and has some attitude and is a little competitive,” she said. “But she could be in any town, in any city, anywhere in the world. The book is set in Dover, but it could be anywhere, and the interactions between the characters in the book would be the same anywhere in the world."

“In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a woman in the sense that I think everyone has felt at some point in their life that they were amongst a group of people - maybe at a job or wherever - who were maybe smarter, maybe richer, maybe skinnier, maybe more clever, more creative, maybe more educated, just out numbered and outgunned. Who hasn’t felt that way at some point in time? So in that sense I think it’s almost universal. This happens to be a woman in the town of Dover.”

Josselyn grew up in town and then moved away to go to college. She moved back to Dover with her husband and son where they have lived for 15 years.

She said that some aspects of the character Pippin were taken from her life, but not many.

“The main character’s voice is definitely me," Josselyn said. "Whatever she would say about something I would say. So in that sense I informed her character but I’m not her. It’s not autobiographical however. Anyone who moves to a new town, no matter what the town, I assume goes through a similar mindset of seeing what is there, who the people are and figuring out where you fit in and how you fit in and judging yourself in relation to them in all the different ways you can judge yourself.”

Asked why if the story and the characters were fictionalized she chose very real Dover, Massachusetts as her setting she said, “Honestly I just thought ‘You write about what you know.’ I live here so I made the setting here. But it could have been anywhere…Because it’s really about women and women interacting with each other.”

Josselyn said that the book was written with humor in mind and is not meant as a swipe at anyone.

“I hope they’ll find it amusing and funny," she said. "This is not a mean book, despite the title. I’m poking fun at a personality type, maybe. I think people will think it’s fun, I think they’ll think it’s funny and they may see in some of the characters someone that they know. Whether it was modeled on that person or not. I hope that they don’t think this is a terrible skewering of the people who live in this town because it’s not.”

Josselyn said that she has told her friends about the book and they all want to know which character they are and she said she is not going to tell them or anyone else.

“I want to emphasize that it’s fiction. I can’t say that F-word enough, fiction, fiction, fiction,” she said.

Asked how many friends in town she thinks she'll have left when it is all said and done she replied with a laugh and a smile: “Only the illiterate ones."

The first five chapters of "Thin Rich Bitches" can be read on Amazon where it can also be purchased as an e-book

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