Monday, 21 March 2016

Career Girls - Louise Bagshawe

A guilty read that was better than expected.

I picked up this book because it reminded of my teenage years when such plot would be the stuff I loved - young female underdogs and how they triumph in the male dominated world. The fact that the book promised to be a "sexy" read was an added bonus.


Two girls Rowena and Topaz (what name!) come to study in Oxford. They become best of friends in no time but soon something drastic happens and they become the best of enemies!

What happens next is how they vow to ruin each other and work really hard at it while becoming successful women themselves. Rowena makes her mark in the music world and Topaz becomes a top notch journalist.

The story takes through the men they love, their professional persona and also their serious attempts to destroy each other.

Eventually, years later something happens that brings them both together. The hardcore enemies will now have to work and help each other in order to survive.

Can they do it? Can they overcome their feelings of jealousy and hate for each other is what the story is about.

What works:
  • The language. The style is contemporary and the tone direct. Perhaps it is in keeping with the world of the music and journalism industry. Exclamation marks, swear words flow in abundance, making it a racy prose.
  • The plot. It is fast moving and action oriented. One thing after the other, the events take the plot from Oxford to New York while stringing along a series of events.
  • The second half about their professional lives is so well detailed. As someone having worked in the journalism industry, I could empathise and identify with the world. It was a job reading about her trials and tribulations as a journalist and editor. 
What doesn't:
  • Clearly the plot is based on a formula. The drama is planned to end on a neat note. The racy prose comes up to a neatly tied conclusion which took the edge off a bit for me.
Occasionally, it is nice to dip into such predictable reads. It is like floating in the lazy pool letting the waves wash over you without making much of it. It is not  high brow literary stuff and the characters don't stay with you, but like any guilty pleasure, it is as good as it lasts.

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