Saturday 4 December 2010
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
Published in 2010 by Harper Collins
Read as part of the International Book Tours.
It is easy to forget now, how effervescent and free we all felt that summer. Everything fades: the shimmer of gold over White Cover; the laughter in the night air; the lavender early morning light on the face of skyscrapers, which had suddenly become so heroically tall.Every dawn seemed to promise fresh miracles, among other joys that are in short supply these days. And so I will try to tell you, while I still remember, how it was then before everything changed - that final season of an era that roared.
Bright Young Things follows the life and trials of three bright young things during the year of 1929. Letty Larkspur and her best friend Cordelia Grey leave their small town lives in Ohio for the bright lights of New York. Letty is desperate to become a star and Cordelia wants to find her father who she believes to be one of the richest bootleggers in town. The girls arrive together, but go their separate way after a huge argument. Letty finds work in an illegal drinking establishment as a cigarette girl, whilst Cordelia discovers that life isn't exactly what she imagined it would be living with her famous father. The third girl to be included in the story is Astrid, who is the girlfriend of Cordelia newly discovered brother Charlie. She befriends Cordelia and we get to see that her glamorous life isn't as glamorous as she would like it to be.
Many of you may have read and enjoyed Anna Godbersen's Luxe series which is set during the Victorian era. As of yet, I haven't read them, but I jumped at the chance to read her new series set during the 1920's. I found the book to be an interesting read, if not perhaps a little predictable, but perhaps that is just me. There were no surprises for me in the book.
The book reminded me of more modern times. I felt that I could almost pick up the cast of 90210 and drop them into the book and they would fit right in after a makeover, because the storylines were timeless. Teenagers getting knocked down and cheated on, before they get back up, dust themselves down and take revenge.The characters are interesting enough, but didn't really grab my attention enough. I wasn't desperate to see them resolve their issues.
I have always been fascinated by the Prohibition and the illegal drinking that went on during the 1920's and wanted to find out more. Unfortunately this book, didn't really elaborate on the subject as I had hoped. I didn't find it descriptive enough, it really did just provide the basics.
Certain parts of the story happened a little too easy for my liking. The way Cordelia's father took her into the family without even a little doubt in his mind. He hadn't seen her since she was a toddler, yet he accepted her straight into his family. I kept expecting him to find out she wasn't really his daughter and turf her out all the way through the book. The way Astrid took Charles back so easily after his unfaithfulness. She just accepted that he had slept with someone else and in her mind that was OK. Duh! It was all just too easy, not enough angst for the situations, that I would expect.
An easy light read, that could easily have occurred in New York today. Not sure if it will have me racing for the Luxe series though.