Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Book Review: The Gatecrasher

I had "The Gatecrasher" sitting on my shelf for a couple of years before deciding to finally pick it up and read it. It started off kind of slow and made me question whether I should give it more of a chance. Then it started to pick up momentum....

In "The Gatecrasher," Madeleine Wickham takes us into a world of rich socialites. Money plays a role in the motivations of the protagonist and the antagonist in this story. Fleur Daxeny crashes funerals of the wealthy in hopes of pairing up with the widower and gaining their assets in the process. Then she meets Richard Favour and becomes friendly with his family, which complicates her usual plan. Tossed into the mix are Fleur's daughter, a man from her past, and Richard's son-in-law, who has his own agenda for the family.

The story had a Jane Green feel to it at times....a lot of rich people, shady characters, different points of view, and a touch of romance. I liked the emotions that Ms. Wickham put into each character. It made it that much easier to get caught up in their different dramas. However, it ended way too abruptly...almost like a train that screeched to a halt. I wanted to see where the story would go next and what would happen to some of the characters, now that I was all invested. I also will try not to fault her for naming the antagonist Lambert, as my association with the name is completely the opposite. (This story was written in the late 90's, so she named him without having to take an "American Idol" runner-up into consideration.) And after seeing "My Life in Ruins," I can only picture the teenage girl as Fleur's daughter now. Again, I doubt it was written with her in mind, as the actress was probably three years old at the time.

Overall, it was a decent story. It had humor, suspense, romance and other elements that make for a good novel. However, I don't know that I'd go out and recommend it without being asked about it first. If asked, I would say that it was worth a read.

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