Thursday, April 27, 2006

#35 - The Debutante Divorcee

Okay, I know I vowed to read less crap, but when I left the house yesterday and actually forgot a book (which meant that I lost an hour of valuable reading time on the commute to and from work), I had to buy something to read. So, I bought The Debutante Divorcee by Plum Sykes. I mean, I couldn't waste a perfectly good streetcar ride, oh, I don't know, looking at the scenery, could I?

And wow, what a ridiculous book. I mean, ridiculous. I mean, even Candace Bushnell looks like high literature in comparison.

The paper thin plot revolves around Sylvie Mortimer, freshly married and already abandoned on her honeymoon when she meets Lauren Blount, heiress and the debutante divorcee of the book's cover. The two become fast friends and in a whirlwind mess of fashion, parties, and ridiculous situations, they do what simply amounts to a lot of nothing.

The "conflict" in the novel comes from Sylvie wondering if her ultra-fab TV-producer husband is having an affair with a devious woman in their jet set circle. Shall I ruin it for you? Oh, come on, it's not like you're actually going to read this book are you? Of course you're not. So, yeah, he's not having an affair it's all a big, say it with me, misunderstanding. Yawn.

You know, I've come to the conclusion that British chicklit is just so much better because it's not ultimately obsessed with fashion, fur (I KNOW, the horror) and the rigid ideals of beauty. When you place a book like The Debutante Divorcee next to any one of Gemma's books it's lacking a certain sense of reality. It's like reading Danielle Steele, only more ridiculous if you can imagine that. There's a difference between something being romantic and something being utterly vapid. The Brits understand that; it's why Bridget Jones did so well, and it's why the Plum Sykes and Lauren Weisbergers of the world will sell books, but are missing the magic.

And the dialogue, good lord, if I met a man that spoke like Hunter, Sylvie's husband, I'd have to kill myself figuratively and bleed all over the pages in protest. With all the "darlings" and "sweethearts" and jewels and yachts, I was yearning for something, anything that approached a real emotion in this novel. And, like this world Plum creates, it simply doesn't exist.

Sigh. I hate it when my brain is so tired all it can handle is dreck, but I resent myself so much for it in the end.


Anonymous said...

You've got it all wrong. You are missing Sykes' refreshing wit. I think this book is far funnier than almost all brit-chick-lit you mentioned. Bergdorf Blondes is also pretty incredible.

Joyce said...

I have to confess that i bought the book almost a year ago and until today, i have not come further than page 53. Everytime i try to read the book, i find myself yawning after 2 or 3 pages. It is sooooo badly written, there doesn't seem to be any real plot, and no, this world Plum has created, it definitely does not exist.
What makes my reading so boring is also maybe the fact that i've just finished a great Marian Keyes book. Now that's a good, funny, witty writer!