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After reading many of Tilly Bagshawe's books, I decided I might give her sister's (Lousie Bagshawe) books a go. On the cover Cosmoplitan quoted "If a novel were a glass of champagne, this would be it". So out of all the other Louise Bagshawe books, this one won the vote of being placed into my basket simply because it has been highly appraised and expected the same standard of writing skills as her sister. And after reading the book, I started to understand why this book was compared to a glass of champagne....
The image of this book looks glamorous without too much accessories, with a woman lying on a hammock, with a sunset background alongside two tropical trees, and the title "Glitz" all glittered and glammed up for that perfect chic-flick!
Four girls, two sets of sisters, related as cousins. One set of sisters (Diana and Venus) do not have any parents due to a car crash and live at boarding school, while the other set of sisters (Juno and Athena) have a basic life growing up with mum and dad in a loving family home even if they don't have as much as everyone else. Then, out of the blue, an uncle appears from nowhere and they live life to the full with the half a million pounds each given every year. With no worries about money since then, they started to get too comfortable with finacial situations and enjoy to throw big parties and take each and every oppurtunity for granted. And since they they are all known famously as the "Chamber Girls".
Then, all of a sudden, Uncle Clem finds himself wanting to settle down with someone who is half his age and she wants the Chamber girls' trust-fund money to be stopped by the time of the big white wedding. The girls are at risk of losing everything they live their lives to, unless they can pull together and form a plan to keep what the currently have before it's too late.
Will the Chamber girls sail away through their plan successfully or will they have obstacles along the way? Does Uncle Clem find problems that started to arise to delay things? Or will the Chamber Girls find an alternative way of getting their hands on wealth by standing on their own two feet?
What will the end of the story tell?..... It's time to bring on the glitz!
-Who it's for-
This book is definatly for all those women who love chic flick and enjoys being suprised with whatever Louise Bagshawe decides to make her characters do.... I personally enjoyed it for pure relaxation before bed time but the thrill and ecitement can build up to the extend where you can't simply can't put the book down.
-Where to buy-
The full retail price of this book is £6.99, and can be brought from the majority of supermarkets and bookstores such as WH Smiths and Waterstones.
Another corker from the brilliant Louise Bagshawe, Glitz tells the story of the four super rich Chamber girls.
Snobbish Juno and her sister the scruffy academic Athena along with their cousins beautiful but lazy Diana and wannabe actress Venus, are all dependent on a trust fund set up by the reclusive and mysterious Uncle Clem. All they have to do for the money is turn up every Christmas to his place in the Seychelles and pretend to like each other for 2 weeks.
But when he summons them unexpectedly to the Seychelles the girls smell trouble. And they are right - he announces his engagement to the very young Bai-Ling - and also announces that as she will be his wife, she will get his cash - no more trust fund for the girls!!
Returning to London, the girls set about trying to stop the wedding and therefore protect their trustfunds so they dont have to get a job (heaven forbid!!) - but in doing so actually find that they become close and shock horror, enjoy their new found careers and independence. Could they be more than spoilt trust fund brats?
Add some twists and turns regarding the truth about Uncle Clem, a good dash of glamorous rich London and some sexy male interest, and you have got a classic Bagshawe beach read.
I wont tell you anymore about the book, its a good and fun read to find out for yourselves, I read it in about 2 days! You can pick it up for under £4 in a supermarket in paperback.
I just think Bagshawe is class - I started reading her books when she gave away her first novel (Careers Girls) with a magazine and have been hooked ever since. I think she is the natural successor to Jackie Collins throne, and I mean that in a good way!
I received this book for my birthday a couple of months ago. As I always have a pile of books ready to work through, I've only just around to this one.
Diana, Venus, Juno and Athena are the Chambers sisters. Together, they are live a charmed life courtesy of the £500,000 a year trust fund given to them by reclusive Uncle Clem. When Clem announces that he is to marry his much younger girlfriend (Bai-Ling) and pull the plug on the trust fund, the horrified girls plot to bring her down. Part of this involves learning to be independent and stand on their own two feet with their own careers, which is totally alien to them. Can the girls outwit scheming Bai-Ling or will it all end in tears?
The Chambers cousins are thoroughly spoiled characters who are used to getting their own way. Athena is the least pretentious of the four girls, as she is an academic and is trying to make her own way in the world.
Alongside the main plot, the four girls have subplots related to their love lifes. This makes them appear less one-dimensional and less centred on the trust fund.
For most of the book, Bai-Ling is quite a cold and scheming characters who seems just as bad as the girls. However, as the story starts to unfold, it becomes clear why this is the case. By the end of the book, Clem was the one character that I intensely disliked.
My Overall Verdict
I enjoyed reading this book. I have read one book by Louise Bagshawe before this (Tuesday's Child), which I also liked. Based on these two books, I am going to seek out more books by her as I like her writing style and characterisation. Although the basic plot is quite thin, it doesn't feel as though she is stretching out the book. One criticism for me though is the lack of realism when the girls embark on their careers to assert some independence to Uncle Clem. The careers that they choose would be quite difficult to just walk into, I would imagine, even if you have the status/reputation and money of the Chambers cousins!
Glitz is the eleventh novel from author Louise Bagshawe. The version I read was the hardback which I managed to mooch from Bookmooch. Im not going to go into the authors background, but if you are interested then check out my review on her previous book Glamour.
Glitz is the story of reclusive millionaire Clement Chambers who lives on a large estate in the Seychelles. He has four nieces, who are two sets of sisters - Diana and Venus, Juno and Athena. They are all very different and not particularly close. As things stand the Chambers girls recieve a £500,000 a year trust fund from their Uncle Clement and are set to inherit his mass fortune. Each Christmas they all get together in the Seychelles and endure their uncle and each other to keep him sweet. This particular Christmas he introduces his bride to be Bai-Ling and everything changes. His bride to be is younger than all of the nieces and gets Clement to make this the last year of the trust fund payout. This is where the battle begins. Bai-Ling is a golddigger and is prepared to do whatever it takes to get her hands on the rich mans fortune. The Chambers girls however have other ideas and realise they are going to have to work together to stop the marriage and save the money. But there is more to the story than a simple fight for cash, Clement Chambers is a control freak and he sees everyone else as pawns in his sick game.
This was an enjoyable read in typical Bagshawe style with confident, successful female characters. We get to know each of the Chambers girls and how money can control your life and the difference its sudden loss can cause. All of the characters are not particularly likeable as they are all spoilt and selfish. We get a glimpse of how the other half live, fast cars, big houses, butlers and designer clothes. We also see the power of money.
The novel is a quick and easy read and the story is fast paced. The ending was a bit weak but not exactly as predicted. I enjoyed the book as an escapist read as I had absolutely nothing I could identify with for any of the characters. I found this to be on a very similar level to Bagshawes previous novel Glamour which was much weaker than her previous books. Both stories are very unrealistic. Bagshawes books are always enjoyable, but if you are new to her work then I would recommend Sparkles as a far better read than this book.
Having read all of Louise Bagshawe's previous books, Glitz is another one that I reserved from my local library before it was released. She was the first author of chic lit that I read and has got me well and truly addicted to it. Despite reading a variety of reviews saying that they were disappointed with the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
*About the Author*
Louise Bagshawe, 37 was born in London. She went to Christ Church, Oxford studying English literature. She is married and has three children. Louise specialises in chick literature, something which I believe her to be one of the best in her field at. She is also a political activist and the sister of freelance journalist and author Tilly Bagshawe.
Glitz is about four cousins (Venus, Juno, Athena and Diana) who have always had the privilege of having a constant flow of money thanks to a trust fund set up by their Uncle Clem. Throughout their adult lives they have grown accustomed to always having money at their disposal (£500,000 per year) and not having to worry about how they are going to pay for things. The girls lives of luxury are soon at risk after their Uncle Clem announces he is marrying his new girlfriend Bai Ling. Despite leading totally different lives, the cousins come together and plan to get rid of the gold-digging Aunt-to-be. TThis means war. The outcome is somewhat different to how they expect and they all prove to themselves that they can make their own way, without the financial assistance of their uncle.
Juno: Married to Jack, a chef with high hopes of success but Juno is extremely unhappy. Unlike her husband who is happy with a simple life, Juno is a social climber whose world revolves around money. She loves living in London and the partying lifestyle that comes with it. I love the person she turns into and the career she makes for herself.
Athena: The odd one out as far as parties are concerned and very different to her sister Juno. Athena loves nothing more than to have her head in a book or having an intellectual conversation with other academics. She works at Oxford but is fighting a losing battle when it comes to the sexist colleagues she works with. She is also absolutely clueless when it comes to fashion. I love the character of Athena as she knows exactly what she likes and doesn't change for anyone. She is also the most caring of the cousins, with the thoughts of her parents always at the forefront of her mind.
Diana: An IT girl with no sort of career to her name. She socialises in London in all the right places. She is the character in the book that I found it hardest to connect to. I find her to be the greediest and most selfish of the cousins.
Venus: On the wrong side of thirty, it looks like her dreams of becoming an actress are over. She has been trying relentlessly to make the big time but with no success. But with her knowledge of the film industry and the right contacts
Bai-Ling: Only interested in Clem for his money, Bai-Ling doesn't know what she's got herself into when she picks a fight with his four nieces. She comes to England to get to know her future nieces and gets caught out. Her cheating, scheming ways are exposed but you end up feeling slightly sorry for her towards the end.
Uncle Clem: A successful man who has always been kind enough to give money to his nieces so that they can live a wonderful life with no money worries. All he wants is gratitude from the girls for the money he has given them. Or is there more to him than meets the eye?
As in most of Bagshawe's novels, she has four strong minded female characters. At the beginning of the novel I have the opinion that they are all self-centred and greedy but the experience of not having that money changes them. By working together, they learn how to survive by working hard. I finish the book having a great deal of respect for the fact that they have stood on their own two feet and made their way on their own. The way in which the characters make their own individual and successful careers is slightly far-fetched but also somewhat inspiring. After all, I wouldn't want to read a book that is about a boring everyday life.
This book is easy to read. From the moment I picked it up I found it straightforward and satisfying to read. Her details of the characters are as usual fantastic and she is very specific about the fashion details she uses.
My only negative for the book is that is follows the same style as her previous books and I found it slightly predictable. There were very few twists and turns in the novel and this lead to it being slightly lacklustre and the end of the book being foreseeable.
*Would I Recommend It?*
Although it isn't Bagshawe's best, it is still an extremely good book. It's perfect to read on the beach when you're on holiday or a book to read to chill out. This is definitely not for anyone after a literary masterpiece.
On the whole, I thought this was another brilliant novel that was fast paced and pleasurable to read. It isn't a book that will set the world on fire, but at the same time it is chic lit at its best. It is very entertaining although slightly lacking in events throughout the book, although the quality of characters make up for this.
If you enjoy Glitz then I would recommend that you read When She Was Bad or Career Girls also by Louise Bagshawe. I can't wait for her next novel Passion to be released later in 2009. I will be reserving it from the library as soon as I can.
Glitz is available to buy from www.play.com for £4.99. A fairly reasonable price but I would recommend checking it out from your local library. That costs you nothing.
Paperback: 554 pages
Publisher: Headline Review (7 August 2008)
Well, the weather really is turning chilly. For someone who spends her life in an ice rink that really is saying something. My absolute favourite thing to do when the cold hits the air is to sink into a bubble bath with the required chocolate, cup of tea and a good book. The better the book, the more prune-like I look at the end!
I like to read my way through an authors offerings if I like something they have written and I was very excited to find that Louise Bagshawe's new novel Glitz was coming out. It has taken the book a few months to get to the top of my 'to read' pile but it finally did last week.
Louise Bagshawe has written quite a few good novels and I have read nearly all of them. Most recently Glamour which came out last year. the plot to Glamour is quite similar to Glitz in that it follows the lives of a group of rich girls and the perks and problems wealth brings. I was quite worried that this book would be too alike but it didn't feel too same-y at all.
I'm not going to go too indepth here as it would spoil it if you ever decided to read this book. The story follows four cousins who on the surface are It girls. They have a trust set up by their Uncle Clement, they grow to rely on this money and the lifestyle it gives them but it comes at a price. When everything changes they have to learn to live life on their own two feet. The plot is easy going, it isn't edge of the seat stuff (lucky since I was in a bath) but it was enjoyable even so. I like relaxing after a hard day at work and not having to think too much. This is chick lit at its best. If I wanted high brow I'd go elsewhere. I did feel like I was in the book at times, the desciptions of the girls clothing, food, and jewels was fab. There is a particular scene where the girls are on a plane and are eating a spread of food and the whole table sounded good enough to eat and I could almost taste it all!
The characters at the start of the book are quite annoying, your typical blonde bimbo types. The characters themselves are well thought out and it is not a fault of the author that I don't like them, I don't think we are meant to like them much at the beginning. Gradually though they become more human and at the end they are a little more likeable, although maybe not totally admirable. This is certainly not the type of book that I would imagine me seeing something of myself in the heroine. The four girls are named after godesses; Juno, Diana, Venus,and Athena. Their Uncle announces his engagement to Bai-Ling and the girls characters really come to life as they pull together to cope with the news.
I was reading an article on a website with an interview with Louise Bagshawe on it, she said her inspiration came from Noel Streatfield's Ballet Shoes, which is odd since this is my all time favourite book. It is only very loosely like it in that both sets of girls find out how to cope when life changes dramatically for what they both think is the worse.
Louise is the conservative candidate for Corby and East Northamptonshire. Her sister Tilly is also an author who she dedicates the novel to. She lives with her husband and three children in Northamptonshire.
Would I read it again?
Well no probably not but not because it wsan't good, I'd only ever read a few books again I like the suspense a book brings and you only ever get that the first time. Also my pile of books to read grows at such an alarming rate I never get the chance to read a book again.
Was it a good book?
Oh yes, I was a true prune by the end of it and the book is a soggy mess. I like reading chick lit, much to my best friends disgust, I had to read more serious literature for my degree course and it just didn't have the same warm and fluffy effect. This book won't change your life it will just make for a few very nice relaxing baths and that all I ever asked of it.
I bought this from Asda it was £3 something. There are also plenty of these on readitswapit.com my fave website ever (after ciao of course). My copy was a paperback and had the same cover shown above which I really like, although I'm not too sure who the lady on the front is meant to be.
The last of my holiday reads was a chick lit one which was a welcome relief after reading the Reluctant Prophet and Cats Eye! I first read a Bagshawe book back in 2004 whilst I was travelling, I picked up "The Devil You Know" and was immediately hooked reading it in a day.
I have never been a massive fan of chick lit although I do like alternating between my usual reads and stuff like this to give myself some easy enjoyable reading. I was hooked on that first book and I enjoyed several others after that. Bagshawes last couple of books however have been a bit of a disappointment, but still, I picked this up as it looked like the perfect beach read, and like many books in this genre, has a well worn plot that is both annoyingly predictable but satisfying too so I kind of new what I was getting!
** **The Plot** **
Venus, Athena, Diana and Juno Chambers are sisters and cousins who's lives are transformed during their teens when they are told by their rich and reclusive uncle that he will be giving them an allowance of £500,000 each a year to live on. The girls live an enviable life, full of parties, jewels and clothes, and as it's a Bagshawe book, all the woman are beautiful...obviously.
None of the women work so they live in ignorance of the real world - that is until one day they are summoned to their Uncles home in the Seychelles to be told that their inheritance will be cut off in one year because he has decided to marry a Thai woman that is at least 40 years younger than himself.
The women are angry that their rich spoilt lives are about to be taken away from them and immediately come together to hatch a plan to get rid of their soon to be gold digging Aunt. As a result, the woman all learn a lesson about life and the real world as they struggle to cope with their change in circumstances.
** ** My Thoughts** **
For me, this was a return to Louise Bagshawes best. The characters at first are self involved and not entirely likeable at all, but like her other characters, they slowly develop and you get to like all of the girls and urge them on in their quests to make it on their own. Possibly the best parts of Bagshawes books are the fantastic descriptions of the clothes and jewels that the characters wear, she always writes about this in such a detailed way describing the colours and textures which is really lovely reading.
As I've mentioned, most of Louise Bagshawes books follow the same pattern - a beautiful woman (or several women) is down on her luck - usually poor, without a husband/boyfriend/partner, and without a career to speak of, but with a hidden talent that she is yet to discover. Something sparks off some ambition in them and they climb slowly to success, getting everything they want and becoming a better person for it.
This story is no different and I didn't expect it to be. It followed her regular pattern, but I didn't find it less enjoyable for it, it was fast paced and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
I cant say it is beautifully written like my other reviews so this will be short - it is what is - a very good beach read/chick lit. It kept me thoroughly entertained, and I did really get in to it during the latter chapters. Its easy reading, the characters are interesting and the plots are developed quickly. I always find reading about the women's blossoming careers and the success they make of their businesses, and this had some great examples. (These girls are just amazing, they ALL start their own businesses and make successes of it - haha!) Despite me taking the P, as a reader, I almost willed them to make a success of their new starts, even though it was just inevitable that everything would turn out peachy for them!
My only negatives - although these are small ones really - is that some of the plot threads just disappear half way through. Something is mentioned, someone vows to take revenge on the girls, but then nothing comes of it. However, I only thought of this after I had finished the book, so clearly it wasnt too important and didn't spoil my enjoyment of it!
I have to say that I really did enjoy it and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys this types of books as being one of the better ones. I hope that this means a return to Bagshawes best.
When I first started reading Women's fiction a few years ago now, Louise Bagshawe was one of the first authors I read, and it was really her books which made me love the chick-lit genre. I have all of her earlier material on my bookshelf upstairs, and they are all fantastic stories which are so well written. Sadly her last few books have had a massive drop in quality and enjoyability, so when I heard about her latest novel, I decided I'd get it from the library instead of buying it like I usually do with her books.
Athena, Juno, Diana and Venus Chambers have a life to be envied of. All 4 live off of their rich Uncle Clement's trust fund money, all being given £500,000 a year to live on. But their perfect lives are about to be given a shake up, when old Uncle Clements announces he's found a bride and is going to stop their Trust Fund as of the day he marries her. Trouble is, Clement's future bride is a twenty-something Thai woman, and the Chambers cousins are sure she is only after their Uncle for his money. Can the cousins who can't stand each other unite the force Bai-Ling away from their Uncle, and keep their money?
Upon reading the plot, I was quite pleased, thinking that it sounded like a very good storyline which was somewhat back to the standard of Bagshawe's older books. As I began reading, the book went straight into the story, firstly introducing us to Uncle Clem and then to the Chambers cousins. The book is written in the third person, which is a necessity with 4 main characters in the book and another major character alongside these. It works well, with a good narrative that is easily readable and not too taxing on its reader. Bagshawe uses great descriptive language when talking about the Chambers women, thoroughly describing everything from their hair, to their make-up to intricate details about their clothes and a lot of designer name-dropping.
As you can tell by their names, the Chambers women aren't your average thirty-something year old ladies. Each of them is unique, with their own ambitions, and none of them really get on. Juno lives in London with her husband Jack, a wannabe chef, but her marriage is struggling and Juno doesn't know how to handle it. Her sister Athena is an incredibly clever woman, working at Oxford University trying to become an Oxford Don. Their cousins are Venus, a bimbo actress trying to hit the big time and circulating as one of London's IT girls, and her sister Diana, another trendy It girl who loves to be seen in the right places. They are not written about in a nice way, perhaps intending for you to dislike them. I didn't warm to any of them throughout the whole book, they're all pretty nasty women, selfish and all about the money.
Despite not liking the characters, I found that Bagshawe has really created a great atmosphere around these women, really transporting you into the world where these women can afford anything they want, without having to worry about the cost of it or where its come from. She's clearly researched this lifestyle, with great detail of society parties, sumptuous dinners and expensive labels of clothing and make up. She's also gone to great length to create a great world for these women, with wonderful expensive homes which are greatly detailed from decor to the paintings. This gives a great setting for the story, and the world in which the Chambers women lives is well written and easy to imagine thanks to this.
Despite the well written lives and surroundings of the Chambers women, there was just something about this book which still doesn't live up to her earlier novels that I really loved. The story, although a good plot, just didn't really seem to go anywhere. It was fairly obvious from the beginning how things were going to go, and I had guessed the ending from about halfway through. There was just nothing special about the book, its characters which, although they were written fairly well were all unlikeable and I think it was this fact which made my enjoyment slightly less than it would have been if I'd liked the characters. I think every book should have a main character which is likeable and the reader can somewhat relate to, but this book just didn't have that. The characters lived in a world I couldn't relate to at all, they were all horrible women and even Bai-Ling and Clement weren't great either.
I really expected to enjoy this book, espeically as I liked the sound of the plot so much. But as is the case with the 2 novels previous to this one (Sparkles and Glamour), there has been something missing from her books which I don't feel makes the book as good as it could be. The story is quite standard, with no major twists or turns to keep you reading, and the third person narrative is fairly basic and not exactly involving. The characters are well written but are horrible people and so not likeable in the slightest. It's disappointing as a fan of Bagshawe's work, but its readable enough for a light read.
ISBN: 978-0755336043. Published by Headline review in April 2008. The hardback version is on Amazon now for £7.14, and the paperback is due for release on 7th August 2008, with a pre-order price of £3.49. The hardback contains 437 pages. For more information on the author, see her website at www.louisebagshawe.com.
Thank you for reading.
All's fair in love and war - especially when there's atrust fund at stake...Haughty, social climber Juno,her ditzy, style-free sister Athena and their cousins, IT girl Hester and wannabe actress Helen are accustomed to living the high life, thanks toa trust fund set up by their super-rich, reclusiveUncle Clem. But when Uncle Clem summons his nieces to his mansion in the Seychelles to announce his engagement to Bai-Ling, a woman youngenough to be their baby sister, the four girls instantly knowtrouble's afoot...Can they stop the wedding? What happens when four pampered princesses have to cope without their trust fund? Who will learn to stand on their own two feet...and who will fall?