Friday, April 3, 2009
Review: Glitter Baby
Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Reasons for reading: I've really enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillips' other books
Description: "Fleur Savagar is the most beautiful woman in the world . . . to everyone but herself. With her oversized hands and paddle-boat feet, her streaky blond hair and funny green eyes, she lives a life filled with secrets that began before she was born. That was when her bewitching mother left home to find James Dean and met Errol Flynn instead. Now Fleur has to grow up quickly, and life won't make that easy. Jake Koranda is both New York's most brilliant playwright and Hollywood's hottest actor. Difficult, talented, and tormented, he has no patience for international glamour girls, not even ones with beautiful bodies and smart-aleck mouths. But there's more to the Glitter Baby than shine, and Fleur's tougher than Jake expects. Even with the odds stacked against her, she's fiercely determined to discover the woman she's destined to be."
My thoughts: From the beginning, I really thought this book felt dated. I figured that was because it was set in the 80's (though I wasn't really sure why it was set then). Partway through, I noticed that it was actually originally published in 1987 and this is a reissue. So that explained it.
It really didn't feel like Phillip's other books - which are usually very American and Southern. This one reminded me of Louise Bagshawe or one of the other British bonkbuster authors - quite European (though it's set in LA and New York as well as France) and revenge-oriented rather than Phillips' usual football-player types being thrust into situations with quirky heroines. I missed that Phillips and I'm glad she evolved into the writer she is now.
Fleur and Jake are good characters, very typical of this type of novel. I liked the Errol Flynn references and the ongoing revenge plot spiced things up a bit, though it was all pretty predictable. Jake being a Vietnam vet really added to the dated feeling of the book, although it was necessary for his character to have gone through it.
This wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't very special, I felt like I'd read it all before. Of course, perhaps in 1987 it was special. She has a new book out now, and I'm looking forward to reading the Susan Elizabeth Phillips of this century.