What would Audrey Hepburn do? Look no further than the timeless class, spirit, and wit of the late actress for tips on dating and living as a modern woman. That’s part of the advice of Seattle author Georgie Nickell (’94 Comm.) in her debut novel, I Only Smoke on Thursdays.

Nickell chronicles the Valentine’s Day dumping of her heroine by The One—she annoyingly capitalizes His every reference—and the three years that follow of dating, smoking, going to bars with names like the “Fruit Fly” and “Cha-Cha Hut,” and drinking vodka tonics with extra lime. Smoke on Thursdays is the how-to manual of a single Seattle twenty-something learning to overcome grief and find someone meaningful amid a sea of duds, patterned along the same acerbic lines as Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Some of Nickell’s observations are as clever, funny, and dead-on as Jones’s. She claims “all your boyfriends become fables who live in a shoe.” She riotously describes dates with Dustin the Duck, so dubbed because his jewelry-wearing reminds her of Ducky from Pretty in Pink, and Dan the Labrador, whose idea of kissing includes licking her face. She likens men who won’t go away to alligators depicted on the Discovery Channel that attack the sweet little gazelle at a riverbank.

Ultimately, there aren’t any models to follow to find good love; just be yourself, Nickell asserts. Hepburn wasn’t perfect either. As any American movie classics aficionado may recall, she was prone to fits of screaming and/or wailing. You might find yourself doing the same after reading Nickell’s book. Either that, or upping your one-day-a-week smoking habit.


Georgie Nickell ’94
Lincoln, NE