Newest Review: ... CHARACTERS*** MINDY is head of the board at One Fifth. She is married to struggling author JAMES, who isn't bringing in as much money a... more
Meet the residents of prestigious One Fifth Avenue ...
One Fifth Avenue - Candace Bushnell
Member Name: dippykitty
One Fifth Avenue - Candace Bushnell
Advantages: I liked the sound of the blurb, it's not terrible despite my 3 stars
Disadvantages: Narrative seemed to be focusing on too many characters to fully develop them
I recently read another book by Candace Bushnell (Trading Up, which I did a review on) and wasn't particularly enamoured with it. Because of that, I was a bit wary of this one seeing as it's by the same author and authors tend to write in a similar style across all of their books. Still, I liked the sound of the blurb on the inside of the sleeve so I figured I'd got nothing much to lose by borrowing this from the local library.
***A BIT OF BACKGROUND***
The title of 'One Fifth Avenue' refers to a prestigious building in New York in which the central characters all live. It was once a grand house that has since been split up into luxury apartments that cost millions of dollars to buy. With this in mind, you probably won't be very surprised at the descriptions of some of the residents/characters as it's an apartment complex that is going to attract a certain class and style of people.
***THE PLOT CHARACTERS***
MINDY is head of the board at One Fifth. She is married to struggling author JAMES, who isn't bringing in as much money as she'd like. When hedge fund genius PAUL and his lawyer wife ANNALISA move into the building and take over the apartment that used to belong to Mrs Louise Houghton, it's war between Mindy and Paul. He's not interested in doing things by the book and thinks his vast wealth can achieve anything.
LOLA is a spoilt little rich girl with big dreams of fame and fortune. She moves to New York in the hope of becoming a somebody and latches onto PHILIP, another author - who is becoming much more successful than James. Lastly, there's ENID, Philip's aunt and a long-time gossip columnist who has resided in the building for some time.
Whereas the characters in Trading Up were quite annoying, I had no gripes with the characters here. Lola was the most annoying character as she was selfish, manipulative and self-absorbed but even she wasn't a character that I particularly disliked. Paul is another of the less likeable characters as he came across as a bit shady but again, not a character that I hated by any stretch.
The book is written in the third person and as is typical of books featuring multiple characters, it frequently flits between them. Even though the book is quite long (or at least the hardbook version that I borrowed from the library was), I didn't feel that I got to know some of the characters very well at all and this was probably because the narrative is moving between so many different characters. As well as the characters that I've mentioned, it also focuses some paragraphs on more peripheral characters such as BILLY (who knows quite a few of the residents of One Fifth Avenue), CONNIE and SANDY (friends of Paul and Annalisa) so there is a lot going on and to me, it felt detrimental to full character development.
The chapters were all quite long but as each section focused on different characters/situations, you don't necessarily need to get to the end of a chapter to feel like you can put the book down as you can just put it down at the end of a specific section instead.
This was by no means a terrible book but it was just lacking something for me and I never fully got involved with the characters or the plot. I didn't actively dislike any of the characters but at the same time, I found myself not really caring what happened to them so there was no sense of urgency to get to the end. I was randomly picking the book up, reading a few sections and then putting it back down without ever feeling the urge to carry on reading to see what happened. As this is the second Candace Bushnell book that I've been mostly indifferent to, I'm going to chalk it up as not getting on with her writing style and leave the rest of her books alone I think! There's nothing particularly awful about her books but they're not for me.
Summary: I couldn't get on with the book but that isn't to say that other people won't like it