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The Fabulous High Life!
One Fifth Avenue - Candace Bushnell
Member Name: dkm1981
One Fifth Avenue - Candace Bushnell
Date: 20/10/09, updated on 21/10/09 (50 review reads)
Advantages: Great fun.
One Fifth Avenue is the latest novel from Candace Bushnell, author of the book that was the basis for the supremely popular 'Sex And The City' television series and film. I have to be honest, I did try to read 'Sex And The City', but after three attempts I gave up. I hate to start a book and not finish it (in fact this is probably only the third time I've done it), but I just couldn't get interested in the characters or get used to the mish-mash style of the chapters, despite the fact that I have watched, and often enjoyed, the TV series. So, it was with a certain amount of reluctance that I started to read 'One Fifth Avenue' and wow, what a difference!
Number One, Fifth Avenue is a coveted address in New York. It is a grand and intricate old house with bucket-loads of history that has now been split into various-sized apartments, occupied by a vast array of characters from eccentric old super rich ladies to under-published writers. Candace Bushnell's novel tells the story of the inhabitants and how their lives interact and sometimes even clash with catastrophic results.
Miss Louise Houghton is the rich lady who lives in the penthouse apartment at the top of the building. She has lived a long and colourful life, but leaves a mysterious legacy behind.
Annalisa is the reluctant socialite that moves into Miss Houghton's apartment courtesy of her genius husbands newly acquired millionaire status. But will she be able to fit in with the old guard of One Fifth Avenue, or will the 'new money' prove simply too unpopular?
Schiffer Diamond is a 40-something actress who moves back to One Fifth Avenue after twenty years in Hollywood. As glamorous and beautiful as she was when she left, will she be able to pick up her old life, just where she left it?
Lola is the young and arrogant poor little rich girl that wants nothing more than to get famous quick. She sees One Fifth Avenue as the answer and will stop at nothing to get in, especially when her family lose all their money and personal gain becomes her sole motivation.
Mindy is the bitter housewife of an unsuccessful writer, who works hard to maintain her position in the building. But she spends all her time being jealous of everyone else and involving herself in everyone else's business. But has she gone too far this time in waging war on the building's richest inhabitants?
Finally, Enid is the grand-dame of the building. She has lived here the longest and wants nothing more than to maintain the building's exclusive status. She quietly observes the goings-on in One Fifth Avenue and steps in where necessary.
Bushnell has produced a seriously enjoyable group of characters here, all with their own beliefs, desires and methods, but all with one shared interest. Her characters are larger than life and exaggerated, but in a somehow believable way. I found that I liked them all and I found myself wanting them all to succeed in achieving their personal goals. The characters are a group of people that come together in unusual circumstances and their lives criss-cross in a intricate and fascinating way that will keep you hooked until the end.
This is the first time for a long time that I've read a chick-lit book like this and found myself totally involved in the story. I was torn between wanting to read the book quickly to find out what happens and wanting to read it slowly so that it would last longer. Every time I put the book down, it was a chore. This is quite unusual for this type of book, in my personal opinion. I always enjoy chick-lit, but in an easy reading putdownable kind of way. I found this one addictive. It is escapism in its highest form - giving you albeit a fictional insight into the world of the rich and famous, but showing that it isn't all parties and glamour.
So, I would seriously recommend this to all you chick-lit lovers out there. It's fast, furious and funny. In fact Elle magazine couldn't have put it better with their description: 'Another delicious slice of Manhattan. Insightful, with lashings of gossip and glamour.'