Monday, March 4, 2013

The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham

Synopsis :

Everything’s coming up roses for Fleur Daxeny, as she goes through more rich men than she does designer hats.  Beautiful and utterly irresistible, her success at crashing funerals to find wealthy men is remarkable.  

Fleur wastes no time in seducing her latest conquest, the handsome and rich widower Richard Favour.  His children are caught up in a whirlwind as their father’s new girlfriend descends on the family estate.  Fleur is not one to wear her heart on her Chanel sleeves, but she soon finds herself embracing Richard and his family.  But just as Fleur contemplates jumping off the gold-digger train for good, a long-buried secret from her past threatens to destroy her new family.

Madeleine Wickham is the same person as Sophie Kinsella, who wrote the Shopaholic Series of which I have a love hate relationship.  However, it was more love than hate so I have been looking forward to what Madeleine Wickham’s work as I quite expect the same standard of wit, humour and depth of her characters as Sophie’s.  Such, my level of excitement towards this book was rather high when I have the opportunity to purchase one recently.

I only need one word to describe how I felt after reading – disappointed.  I won't say much about how different it is from Sophie Kinsella's work as I do expect it to be different. Otherwise, why would she use a different name?  No, the disappointment is more of how absurb and lacklustre the story is and how the characters lack depth and breath and how totally unbeliever the ending is.

The plot in general was quite cute and has substance but somehow as the story develops, it seems to have lost it's potential.  I can see what drives Fleur to do what she does and it's not true as stated in the synopsis that she contemplates jumping off the gold-digger train for good.  She contemplates leaving Richard because he doesn't fit into the whole scheme of what Fleur wants to become.  She never considers his family her new family.  In fact, I don't think she cares much for Richard's children Philippa and Antony at all.  

The only saving character is Zara, Fleur's daughter.  She's the only one I was rooting for and at thirteen or is it fourteen, she is much grown up beyond her age having followed her mother all these years on her schemes.
I won't actually recommend that you read this unless you really don't mind wasting your time.

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