JUST PUBLISHED! The Wives by Lauren Weisberger

When I started reading this I didn’t know much about Lauren Weisberger except that she wrote The Devil Wears Prada but she appears to be something of an industry writing in the interstices between culture, media and fashion as operated by the super rich in Los Angeles and New York. The book revolves around the lives of three women: Emily, Miriam and Karolina as they maintain their positions on the greasy poles of employment and influence. Emily is a sort of PR consultant, Miriam is just busy being rich with children and Karolina is an ex supermodel with an ambitious husband who is trying to dump her for a new model.

The leading thread in the story is that Karolina has been done for drunk driving and needs an image job which Emily can provide. Along the way it transpires that her husband is more of a villain than anyone might imagine but, in the end, he gets his comeuppance. There are a fair few other villainous husbands scattered throughout the text and there is a long subplot about Miriam’s husband who could be having an affair but turns out to be a sort of good guy. A sort of good guy because good guys are measured by the financial rewards they dish out to wives and partners. There’s a lot of lusting after other people in between, in a city where all of the waiters have unbelievably tight butts and that’s just the men! Emily, married to Miles, has a thing with a chap called Alistair who weaves in and out of her life. There is also a ready supply of available, super attractive, women for the men. Super attractive seems to be partly measured by the amount of silicone in your body and the quality of your fashion accessories. There’s a whiff of product placement here!

Just to locate this in the real world, children are central. What Karolina is really worried about is access to a child called Harry whom she has been pivotal in raising and Emily is pregnant at the end though I’m not sure by whom while Miriam is set up to be a mum with a posh office. It is clear that a lot of nannies will be required!

In the end, if you like this sort of ride then you’ll enjoy it. It is Jackie Collins on MDMA. If you have some kind of moral perspective then you will have to overlook the quite criminal immorality of Karolina’s husband and the slightly dodgy behaviour of Emily and, personally, I wouldn’t trust Miriam’s husband for a minute! There again, if you can overlook all that you might enjoy it as a holiday read but it is also possible that if you buy your clothes in TK Maxx and a night out is a few drinks down the pub this might all seem a little bit alien!

(The book was published in July 2018. I received a free copy through NetGalley from the publishers, HarperCollins, in return for an honest review.)

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