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Book Review

Four Blondes by Candace Bushnell - Book Review

Title
Author
Publisher

Four Blondes
Candace Bushnell
Abacus

Fiction-Net Rating 3 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

Four Blondes charts the romantic intrigues, liaisons, betrayals and victories of four modern women. A beautiful B-list model scams rent-free summerhouses in the Hamptons from her lovers until she discovers she can get a man but can't get what she wants. A high-powered magazine columnist's floundering marriage to a literary journalist is thrown into crisis when her husband's career fails to live up to her expectation. A 'Cinderella' records her descent into paranoia in her journal as she realises she wants anybody's life except her own. An artist and ageing 'It girl' who fears that her time for finding a man has run out travels to London in search of the kind of love and devotion she can't find in Manhattan.

We Say

Candace Bushnell also wrote the book Sex and the City which spawned the TV series of the same name. In the case of the TV show, the style is fast, sassy and unafraid. Believe me, in the UK, we watch with our jaws on the floor sometimes but we love it - the pure escapism is irresistible. I even watch the re-runs just to check out the clothes. But in spite of that, these are women that we can still relate to - they have insecurities we all know about only to well. So, I approached Four Blondes hoping for more of the same. Which is what I got. Sort of.

The snappy style was certainly in place and instantly recognisable. The tone was sympathetic only when absolutely necessary but was mostly scathing and honest. There were cocktail parties, movie stars, money and drugs. This is a depiction of what is most valued in the modern world and how people will suffer to get a slice of those things. But underneath the glamorous veneer, there is a dark underbelly, which Candace Bushnell isn't afraid to reveal. On face value, the four stories might seem like empty premises but the author brings them to life effectively.

One criticism I have is that I didn't find it easy to empathise with the characters. I wanted to like them more but then again, maybe Bushnell was determined to keep them as real and convincing as possible. If she had softened their edges, this may not have worked. I was also disappointed that the book consisted of four separate stories. I would have preferred a continuous narrative in which there would be more time to build up a relationship with the characters but overall, these are only minor gripes and 'Four Blondes' is clever and entertaining.

Review by: Rachel Taylor

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