I remember this line from one of Celine Dion’s songs and thought it applicable to start off my review on Sparkles by Louise Bagshawe. Judging by the cover of the book you would think it’s a teeny bopper novel, which it is not. Some may find it a slightly shallow read, I who normally read books from what people call ‘serious authors’, would describe it as my guilty pleasure.
This book I found a pleasure to read. Reasons being: It doesn’t drag, it’s an easy read and the story line I found addictive enough to keep on reading. This is a story about romance, ambition and betrayal with a good shot of comedy. Half of the time, while I was reading the book I was laughing – particularly at the end when all the betrayal gets revealed, which I found almost ridiculous as it is funny. By that I don’t mean the story was ridiculous, but the actual betrayal itself – the reaction of the characters involved leaves for a very dramatic and comic ending to a fabulous novel. The characters in the book aren’t very complicated or multi-dimensional, they are in fact very cliché – but that is what you can expect from a book like this.
The book and story was intoxicating and if you find the glamorous lifestyle appealing you would love this book. It’s an endless mix of glamour, suspense, deceit and betrayal. When I say glamour, think elegant poised ladies clad in Chanel and Dior, dripping with diamonds and being backstabbing b*tches. Remember my Chanel N°19 post? I mentioned the book in there, quoting one of the quotes from the book: “Chanel N°19, the unmistakable scent of money”
Here are an outline of the story (of what I can remember):
The main protagonist in the novel is Pierre Massot – a fabulously wealthy man who owns one of the largest jewelry companies in Paris, France who disappears for years leaving behind his mother Katherine Massot, wife Sophie and son Tom. Sophie declares her husband as dead and takes control of the business much to Katherine and Tom’s dislike.
Sophie befriends one of Pierre’s employees while taking over the family business – a woman called Judy, who she admires and trust. A woman who hates her and who turns out to be one of Pierre’s many mistresses, blaming Sophie for her and Pierre not being able to be together. Judy starts dating Pierre’s son Tom and befriends Pierre’s mother, Katherine, who conspire along with her to destroy Sophie and get her out of the way.
The story line plays off in Paris, UK and Russia. There are parts of the story that covers two lovers (a young man and an older woman) who lives in Russia and other characters who are family of the older woman which seems to put the story off a little as I couldn’t figure out how they fit into the story. However, all the characters in the book are somehow connected to Pierre – and they were.
Pierre do show up near the end, which provides for the conclusion of the novel. All your unanswered questions gets answered, such as how are the characters from decades ago connected to the Massot family? Why did Pierre disappear and leave his business behind? What secret is Katherine hiding?
I would love to tell you the conclusion of the story, but that would be too much of a spoiler. Just know that once you read it, you would laugh at the utter ridiculousness of the deceit and scandal that follows the Massot family. I know I did…
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