Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book Review: Silk

By Gail Allison

Jealousy! Revenge! Sex! Power! Heck, even a murder! "Silk," by Rupert James, has it all. I readily admit (and so can you...it’s okay...we’re all friends here) that I like to get lost in an ultra-trashy novel sometimes. "Silk" definitely delivered on that front. It ties together the lives of Isabelle Cissé, a fashion designer who has recently graduated and is looking to hit it big; her mother, Christine Fairbrother, a powerful attorney whose next professional goal is to “take silk” or be appointed to QC (Queen’s Counsel); and Victoria Crabtree, the spoiled and glamorous mistress of an extremely wealthy and powerful man. The lives of these three women become inextricably intertwined throughout the novel, as they all become more deeply enmeshed in scandal and lies while attempting to create their own perfect endings. Like I said, there’s even a murder for those of you who like a mysterious twist to your chick lit.

That being said, this book is absolutely not for everyone. If you read the "Fifty Shades" books without flinching, you’ll have no problem with "Silk," but if you cringe at the thought of explicit...um...anything, really, this might not be the book for you. Mr James doesn’t shy away from describing, in excruciating detail, every salacious thought that runs through his characters’ minds, to say nothing of their actions. I’m sure some of the detail could have been omitted and we still could have had a very robust storyline, but it wouldn’t have been half as trashy.

My only real problem with this novel was some of the characters’ thought processes. For example, Isabelle was a recent fashion institute graduate, yet her ultimate goal was to have her creation worn by one of the Best Actress nominees. Wait...what? You just graduated from design school, and you’re going to pigeonhole your career already? Seems like a fairly nonsensical thing to do. As well, Isabelle ended up being a wholly unlikeable character. She really had no redeeming “humanizing” features that I could discern. She was basically a brat to the core, who was determined to punish her mother for divorcing her father. She never listened to reason, and was just annoying at times.

Still...it was fiction, and when you pick up "Silk" you have to realize that and be ready to suspend belief for as long as it takes. And if you can do that (and live with the completely shameless lives these people seem to lead) then you’ll probably enjoy "Silk." Shake up a dirty martini and settle in for this one. It’s unquestionably a bumpy ride, but one worth hanging on for.

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