(Glitzy world of High Fashion): Handbags and Gladrags by Maggie Alderson

(Glitzy world of High Fashion): Handbags and Gladrags by Maggie AldersonHandbags and Gladrags by Maggie Alderson

Published by Penguin Group Australia on 2004
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women
Pages: 396
Source: Bought for Myself
Fashion stylist Emily Pointer is a natural blonde, a tall size 10, travels the world for work and gets 30 per cent discount at Prada. As far as she's concerned, life is perfect. So surely a night of wild sex with a hunky Australian photographer will be just another fabulous experience to add to the package? Instead, Emily starts to discover that life can be messy - and the designer clothes in your closet can be squeezed out by the skeletons lurking there too. From Milan to London, Paris and New York, Emily does her utmost to conceal the rampant affair - Miles is her secret lover and that's the way it's going to stay. But secrets come at a cost and Emily is about to be hit with the bill. After all, you can't live on emotional credit forever . . . can you? From the bestselling author of Pants on Fire comes the delicious tale of a woman who was kidding herself that another Bi rkin bag was all she needed to achieve fulfilment.

The novel opens with an email from Emily’s lover in their secret code planning a rendezvous. It’s not until a few chapters later that we find out Emily is in fact married. And from there on the entire novel became extremely predictable. I don’t think there were any events from that point onwards that even slightly surprised me. View Spoiler »

I like Alderson’s writing but there is such a thing as too much. Too much name dropping and too many referrals to designer clothing and other designer items. There’s a part about one third of the way into the novel where Emily is unpacking her suitcase and inventorying her handbag. That was nearly the point where I just couldn’t take any more designer references. Everything from the four pairs of Prada shoes she was hiding from her husband to the Chanel cover she had on her purse pack of tissues was mentioned. The novel would have been half the size if you removed all the shopping and pointless fashion shows that were written about. I understand that as a high fashion magazine stylist you needed some of it but most of it didn’t add anything to the story.

Emily felt rather spineless as a characters. She would blame everyone else for her problems and took no responsibility for her actions and decisions. So when others made decisions for her and she followed them it was always someone else’s fault when said decision didn’t work for her. I found her extremely shallow and to be one of those people who thought the world of themselves. She was also EXTREMELY hypocritical regarding a lot of things.View Spoiler » I felt very little/no character growth for her and that disappointed me slightly. Everything that happened to her was a result of someone else pulling the strings and Emily just following along trying not to rock the boat – with the exception of her little affair with her tanned Australian surfer photographer.

All this seems rather negative. I actually enjoyed the book – more for the supporting characters of Paul and Nelly than anything else. The exotic locations and the glamorous life that Emily lead appealed to me and I enjoyed that part of the novel.

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