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Notorious party-loving 'It Girl' Lyric Charlton has it all - the lineage, the looks and the lifestyle. A moneyed upbringing at the heart of one of the upper class's most well-connected families, a finishing school education and an address book bursting with the world's most powerful and high-profile people has crowned her the glamorous poster girl for the aristocratic glitterati. But when her doomed relationship with suave boy-about-town Ralph Conway means she takes the good times too far, she is packed off to rehab by her worried parents, and the public shame and private humiliation that follow means Lyric's only option seems to be to retreat into sober obscurity. But what no one can predict is the dramatic chain of events her exile sets in motion. For Lyric's treatment is the start of much more than a life as an ex-addict. It's the catalyst that exposes a complex web of deceit and betrayal - and leads Lyric on an increasingly dangerous quest to find the final missing piece of the jigsaw of her life...
I admit, when I heard notorious IT-girl Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was writing a novel, I wasn't entirely impressed. Celebrity novels rarely impress me, and most of the time they don't even bother to write the books themselves (and what makes it even more galling is that they say they did write it themselves and/or don't thank their ghostwriter which irritates me). However, when I saw the book in the book swap one day, I picked it up, not expecting a good read at all. The best thing about picking up the book with no expectations meant that the fact I enjoyed it was a real plus point.
Inheritance starts very well, throwing us into a situation we know nothing about where Lyric finds herself in danger, before heading back three years before, two years before, one year before, before telling us the story as to how Lyric ended up with her life in mortal danger. It was a clever way to introduce us into the story, and I was instantly intrigued as to what had happened to Lyric. Tara Palmer-Tomkinson states in her Acknowledgements that the book is entirely fictional, but there is little doubt that Lyric is based on the woman herself but that didn't really bother me and I found myself getting very involved in the story. There are many twists and turns throughout the book, some were a bit obvious, but the plot was very intriguing and kept me reading!
There's quite a large cast in Inheritance, as with most novels like it, and although Lyric is the main character there are plenty of other characters for us to get our teeth into. I wasn't a huge fan of Lyric's name (and I would assume it's meant to be ironic as we also have a Truly Stunning in the novel) but I liked Lyric. Yes, she has her faults what with her drug addiction but we don't see much of it, we see the aftermath of her rehab stint and she seemed likeable enough. We also have Lyric's parents, her best friends as well as some evil characters, and it is quite the well-rounded cast. Not many of them made as much as an impression as Lyric bar one of the villains who is unforgettable, but the rest of the cast added to the general story well.
The only problems I had with the novel was the time-jumping. We know Lyric had a drug addiction, but her entire rehabilitation wasn't included in the novel, just the mention of her release from rehab. I thought that was a shame, as it would have been a nice inclusion in the book because, with the greatest of respect to Tara, if anyone can write about a stint in rehab, surely it's her? There were a few more time jumps like that, that broke up the story a bit, but apart from that I thoroughly enjoyed Inheritance. It wasn't what I expected at all, and I mean that in a good way. I also hugely admire the fact Tara admits to have help with the novel, thanking someone called Claire in her Acknowledgements saying that although it's her story, feelings and things, she can't type, and not a lot of celebs admit to having help with writing a novel and happily pass it off as their own. All in all, I will definitely be picking up a second of Tara's novels should one come out.