15 May 2012
Book Review: The Perfect Location by Kate Forster
Rose Nightingale is an Australian actress still recovering from a bad marriage.
Sapphira De Mont is the world’s most beautiful movie star, but hides a secret addiction and a broken heart.
Calypso Gable is a young star on the rise trying to escape her mum-manager’s clutches.
As they come together on set in the Italian hills, they find out more about one another – and about themselves – than they ever thought possible."
First of all, I want to say just how much I love this book cover. It's summery, it's feminine, it's gorgeous and I loved it - it looks even better on the finished book which is fab. This is Australian author Kate Forster's debut novel, and it's one I've been looking forward to for a while. Interestingly, a prequel to this book was released as a free eBook by the publishers, although I haven't gotten around to reading it yet so I can't say you miss out by not reading it before you read the book! I was really looking forward to reading this one, and although it was the second book in a row I'd read that was set in Italy, it didn't spoil my enjoyment of it at all and I managed to get through the book very quickly as I was hooked and didn't want to put it down!
The book is the story of 3 actresses, Sapphira, Calypso and Rose. The women had auditioned for a part in a new Hollywood movie, and had each won a part. Now though, they were in Italy and dealing with their own issues as well as trying to short a brand new movie. Sapphira is battling her own personal demons whilst trying to hide her secret from her co-stars, and the world. But behind the trouble lies a broken heart she doesn't quite know how to fix. Calypso is a relatively new actress compared to her co-stars, and has been encouraged/forced into roles all her life by her mother who also happens to be her manager. She really wants to break free but doesn't know how, and just wants a sense of normality. Finally, there's Rose who always seems to be running away from something. She's running away from her failed marriage, but also from any kind of affection as well. Will the movie being shot in the perfect location help the women who seem to have it all find happiness at last?
This book got straight in with the story, and I loved that. It introduced the characters one by one, which is how the book continues, with a narrative that changes throughout the book but manages to keep you completely involved. Each of the female characters are well written, and I really enjoyed getting to know each of them as the stories of them progress. My favourite was probably Calypso, the youngest and most naive of the group but after a shocking twist in her storyline, I really liked how she evolved and found her to be very realistic. Sapphira was probably the character I took a while to warm to, but again, as things are revealed about her, you begin to understand her. Overall though, the female characters are so well written, and although they are each very different, they blend so well and make up such a good cast.
The male characters in this book too are very important, but I don't want to say too much about them because they are involved in the evolving storylines with the female characters Sapphira, Calypson and Rose. However, my favourite was certainly the director TG, a guy with a big heart who just wants to help and make everyone happy, but lovely Jack, a co-star on the film was fantastic too! Some things in the book did surprise me I have to confess - there are some graphic scenes of drug use, a couple of sex scenes that were a bit surprising to read in there due to the nature of the, and I found a few scenarios surrounding Sapphira a little bit uncomfortable as well. I really hadn't expected that within this book, but nonetheless, I didn't let it spoil my enjoyment of the book because the rest of it was fantastic.
The setting of Italy is perfect for the book, and I loved Forster's beautiful writing about the area, from the scenic descriptions to the glorious food she mentions throughout the book - she certainly makes it sound like somewhere I want to visit! Overall, this is a fantastic book that I loved, and would highly recommend to anyone who likes a bit of a gritty read. It's extremely well written, and I really enjoyed how the narrative chopped and changed between the characters, it allowed the story to keep flowing, but the film manages to keep it altogether as well. It was touching, it was emotional, it was a read full of love and hope, and was a joy to read. It's a fantastic novel, and it certainly makes me look forward to future releases from Kate Forster, she's a bright star in the world of chick lit, and this book is a fantastic summer read!
You can buy The Perfect Location as a paperback or an eBook now.