Sunday, 15 August 2010
Book review : Silk - Rupert James
As I packed this book in my suitcase, I instinctively knew that it would be great poolside reading and I was quite right. It's classic chicklit, perfect for reading under the parasol while listening to the cicadas sing (or whatever it is that cicadas do !).
The book follows the lives of three feisty leading ladies, all of whom have a different connection to the silk of the title. We discover the ambitious female barrister who wants to "take silk"and become a Queen's Counsel, the talented up-and-coming fashion designer who uses silk to create fabulous dresses and finally the shameless mistress who uses silk underwear as her arm of predilection in her role as a rich man's bit on the side. All three of these key characters are, like silk, beautiful but fragile. All three of their destinies are intertwined, like the silk threads of a spider's web.
All of the women are appealing and likeable, despite - or possibly because of - their frequent bad decisions and huge character flaws. They aren't superwomen, they are just like us with their weaknesses and annoying habits so we can empathise with them and get totally emotionally involved with the storyline.
I was actually surprised to realise at the end that this is classic chicklit written by a man ! How did he manage to get under the skin of his female protagonists and delve so deeply and accurately into the female psyche ?! I admit I actually googled to see if Rupert James is really a man or if it was just a female chicklit writer looking for a gimmicky pen-name but no, he's really a man ! Rupert James is a fashion journalist married to a barrister so his real life has obviously helped him to gain such insight for his portrayal of the women in the story.
It's classic chicklit (despite being written by a bloke !) offering sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll - or should that be sex and frocks and interpol ?! You get the sentiment and "girl power" you'd expect from chicklit but also a hefty dose of suspense and action which combine to create a gripping and thoroughly enjoyable read.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £6.99
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Ebury Press (18 Feb 2010)
other reviews you might be interested in :
Book review : Forbidden Pleasures - Jo Rees
Book review : Living La Vida Loca - Belinda Jones
Book review : My Last Confession - Helen FitzGerald
RSVP - Tara Moore