by Polly Williams


So, I guess this is chic lit. I’ve never read chic-lit before, not my sort of thing. I fell into this one by accident, thinking it was a paranormal fantasy.

Are there really people like this? Who talk like this, think like this, live lives like this? I suppose there must be, since there are so many books about them. They seem very alien to me, my life is not like this; my friends and I don’t have these conversations.

I found it very hard to warm to these spoiled, silly people and all those reference’s – lists of designers I’ve never heard of, lists of shops and food and clothes and shoes (three solid pages of it at one point, which I skipped lightly over, like Fotherington Thomas). Do people really enjoy reading this stuff? I suppose they must, or such books as this would not exist. I suppose, in the way that SF gives you pages of technical information and steam punk waxes lyrical on the relative merits of steam-flanges and grommet-pumps, chic lit gives you the dresses and the labels. It’s just not interesting to me. Not my genre, not my kind of book.

Occasionally there’s a glimpse of something deeper, a moment of insight, a sense of something genuinely intriguing , when it seemed the plot might take an exciting tangent – but then we’re off again with page after page of shoes, and despite the hints and teasing, nothing original ever actually happens.

I suspect this is one of the least egregious examples of the genre; there was a plot at the heart of it, a quite intriguing one at times, that kept me reading to the end, but I disliked all the characters – particularly dead Sophie – there were no surprises and the obsession with designers, shoes and especially clothes (every character is introduced with reference to the clothes they wear) ultimately left me slightly queasy.