7 August 2008

Book Review: Glitz by Louise Bagshawe

"The four beautiful Chambers girls are rolling in money, thanks to the trust fund set up by their reclusive, super-rich uncle Clem. But when he summons his nieces to his mansion in the Seychelles to announce his engagement to Bai-Ling, a woman young enough to be their baby sister, the girls know the party could be over.

Can they stop the wedding? What happens when four pampered princesses have to cope without their trust fund? Who will learn to stand on their own two feet... and who will fall?"

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Reviews for Glitz - Louise Bagshawe

Glitz - Louise Bagshawe
All that's Glitzy isn't Gold - Glitz - Louise Bagshawe Fiction Book
Newest Review: ... the money is turn up every Christmas to his place in the Seychelles and pretend to like each other for 2 weeks. But when he summons them u... more

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All that's Glitzy isn't Gold
Glitz - Louise Bagshawe

mummy2harryMember Name: mummy2harry

Glitz - Louise Bagshawe

Date: 04/07/08
Advantages: Glamourous storyline
Disadvantages: Not nice characters, some plot flaws, not her best
When I first started reading Women's fiction a few years ago now, Louise Bagshawe was one of the first authors I read, and it was really her books which made me love the chick-lit genre. I have all of her earlier material on my bookshelf upstairs, and they are all fantastic stories which are so well written. Sadly her last few books have had a massive drop in quality and enjoyability, so when I heard about her latest novel, I decided I'd get it from the library instead of buying it like I usually do with her books.

Athena, Juno, Diana and Venus Chambers have a life to be envied of. All 4 live off of their rich Uncle Clement's trust fund money, all being given £500,000 a year to live on. But their perfect lives are about to be given a shake up, when old Uncle Clements announces he's found a bride and is going to stop their Trust Fund as of the day he marries her. Trouble is, Clement's future bride is a twenty-something Thai woman, and the Chambers cousins are sure she is only after their Uncle for his money. Can the cousins who can't stand each other unite the force Bai-Ling away from their Uncle, and keep their money?

Upon reading the plot, I was quite pleased, thinking that it sounded like a very good storyline which was somewhat back to the standard of Bagshawe's older books. As I began reading, the book went straight into the story, firstly introducing us to Uncle Clem and then to the Chambers cousins. The book is written in the third person, which is a necessity with 4 main characters in the book and another major character alongside these. It works well, with a good narrative that is easily readable and not too taxing on its reader. Bagshawe uses great descriptive language when talking about the Chambers women, thoroughly describing everything from their hair, to their make-up to intricate details about their clothes and a lot of designer name-dropping.

As you can tell by their names, the Chambers women aren't your average thirty-something year old ladies. Each of them is unique, with their own ambitions, and none of them really get on. Juno lives in London with her husband Jack, a wannabe chef, but her marriage is struggling and Juno doesn't know how to handle it. Her sister Athena is an incredibly clever woman, working at Oxford University trying to become an Oxford Don. Their cousins are Venus, a bimbo actress trying to hit the big time and circulating as one of London's IT girls, and her sister Diana, another trendy It girl who loves to be seen in the right places. They are not written about in a nice way, perhaps intending for you to dislike them. I didn't warm to any of them throughout the whole book, they're all pretty nasty women, selfish and all about the money.

Despite not liking the characters, I found that Bagshawe has really created a great atmosphere around these women, really transporting you into the world where these women can afford anything they want, without having to worry about the cost of it or where its come from. She's clearly researched this lifestyle, with great detail of society parties, sumptuous dinners and expensive labels of clothing and make up. She's also gone to great length to create a great world for these women, with wonderful expensive homes which are greatly detailed from decor to the paintings. This gives a great setting for the story, and the world in which the Chambers women lives is well written and easy to imagine thanks to this.

Despite the well written lives and surroundings of the Chambers women, there was just something about this book which still doesn't live up to her earlier novels that I really loved. The story, although a good plot, just didn't really seem to go anywhere. It was fairly obvious from the beginning how things were going to go, and I had guessed the ending from about halfway through. There was just nothing special about the book, its characters which, although they were written fairly well were all unlikeable and I think it was this fact which made my enjoyment slightly less than it would have been if I'd liked the characters. I think every book should have a main character which is likeable and the reader can somewhat relate to, but this book just didn't have that. The characters lived in a world I couldn't relate to at all, they were all horrible women and even Bai-Ling and Clement weren't great either.

I really expected to enjoy this book, espeically as I liked the sound of the plot so much. But as is the case with the 2 novels previous to this one (Sparkles and Glamour), there has been something missing from her books which I don't feel makes the book as good as it could be. The story is quite standard, with no major twists or turns to keep you reading, and the third person narrative is fairly basic and not exactly involving. The characters are well written but are horrible people and so not likeable in the slightest. It's disappointing as a fan of Bagshawe's work, but its readable enough for a light read.

Rating: 3/5

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