Interesting Buys

Monday, September 14, 2009

I need more books, like I need a hole in my head. Nevertheless, I picked up a couple on my way home today:

I'm not a big fan of love triangles, but this one involves a mystery, revenge, a plucky heroine and takes place in 1920s London, (And, oh wow, I noticed the blurb on the cover and realized that this author's previous book, The Shoe Queen, ended up as one of my favourite reads--and a keeper--of last year. How serendipitous.)

The Jewel Box

Synopsis (from Amazon/Booklist which isn’t quite what’s on the backcover, but I’ll be arsed if I can bother typing that one out. The Publishers Weekly synopsis is even more fluffy with comparisons to Sex and the City and references to pre-Manolo Blanik chick-lit. If this is anything like The Shoe Queen. The chick-lit implication is misleading.):

Grace is an iconic flapper in the Roaring Twenties, burning the candle at both ends between her job as a copywriter in a London ad agency and a newspaper columnist under the pen name Diamond Sharp.

Her frantic pace and upbeat writing keep her from thinking about the responsibilities at home, where she takes care of her mother, widowed sister, and young niece and nephew. Things become even more hectic when she spots a gorgeous American author, and taunts him in her columns until they start a fiery love affair.

Dexter is as mysterious and dramatic as the book that made him famous. In contrast
to her tempestuous relationship with Dexter, she meets her neighbor John Cramer, also an American, who writes for the New York Times.

There is bad blood between the two men, and Grace is torn between her “Devil” Dexter and his antagonist, John, who may have captured her sister’s heart. Davis presents a rip-roaring read filled with enticing characters emulating the American literati living it up overseas after the First World War.

Interestingly she have two high and two low ratings on Amazon. One of those books you either hate or love? Hopefully, I'll love it.

Eep! I just realized I already read the second book (when it first came out in hardcover). It was a pretty good read and I like the author’s voice a lot, which is why I didn't do much more than skimm the backblurb before deciding to buy Klosterman’s “new” book. Oh well.

Downtown Owl

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Evangeline Holland said...

I'm one of the low reviews ("Novelist & Reader"). The setting and the general patina of the book sparkle, but there is no emotional depth nor is there a resolute payoff for all that Grace discovers about herself and the other characters.

vanessa jaye said...

Evangeline, I suspect your review might be on point. While I loved The Shoe Queen, I did feel that the ending did not have the payoff I felt was fully satisfactory. But... I loved the book despite that flaw. So I might have the same response to this one.

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your views. It's always welcomed. :)

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