Monday, January 14, 2008

Review: Glamour

Glamour by Louise Bagshawe

3.5 stars

Summary: "Three powerful women. Once best friends. Now deadly rivals … Texan honey Sally Lassiter, English rose Jane Morgan and Jordanian Helen Yanna meet at an exclusive girls’ school and become best friends. They form a bond which will never be broken … Years later, the three girls are grown-up, co-founders and millionaire co-owners of the exclusive Glamour chain of stores. They are fabulously wealthy, instantly recognisable, adored and revered. Or are they? The Glamour empire is on the verge of collapse and the three women are embroiled in a bitter feud."

First line: "GLAMOUR. The name was written in brass letters, each one sixteen feet high, polished like a mirror."

My thoughts: I was so excited when I spotted this one on our new books shelf. And after East of Eden, my brain needed something fluffy. This one followed the usual Bagshawe rags-to-riches/riches-to-rags and women who were friends and are now rivals/were rivals and are now friends mold. It was a fine chick litty read, but I think her previous book, Sparkles, had a lot more going for it - a more intriguing story and setting and a huge twist. This one just kind of went along, with a little bit of tension as to whether the women would stay friends, and then it was over. The timeline also seemed off to me, it was as if the store took off in a matter of days and was suddenly a worldwide phenomenon. It seems like several years got glossed over - not that we needed to slog through those years, but it was just rather off.

I did love the idea of the GLAMOUR stores being the ultimate luxury shopping experience (not that I'd ever be able to shop there!) and I liked the story of each girl's struggle back from the bad cards life dealt her. My favourite character was Sally, with her sparkle and creativity. Jane was too much of a stereotypically cold Englishwoman and Helen was pretty arrogant.

I found that there was too much of the "strong woman loves being taken by a stronger man" vibe. I suppose the cliche about being a tiger in the boardroom and a kitten in the bedroom is a cliche for a reason, but it felt icky to me.

And one more quibble - the typos! My stars. There were enough spelling mistakes to be noticeable, but the worst was that a secondary character called Rhodri Evans, Jane Morgan's first saviour in business, keeps getting called Rhodri Morgan. Particularly confusing when they just referred to him as Morgan. Very sloppy.

So, overall, a quick, fluffy read with some entertainment value. If, like me, you really like Bagshawe, it's worth reading. But if your chick lit budget (either time-wise or money-wise!) is small, I'd recommend Sparkles or some of her earlier books.

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