Meet a cast of characters who you might just recognise – a washed up TV weatherman famous for getting it spectacularly wrong. A politician who was involved in scandal. A former model whose assets were well-known by all. A male pop idol, who sang cover songs in white vests. A child author whose novels were brought to the big screen. A footballers wife. A TV soap bad-boy. An actor whose rom-coms made money on his name alone and finally a young ladette who had a rather brash approach to interviewing and being seen.
Meet, Terry, Cressida, Sue, Woody, Holly, Chelle,Simon, Austin and the main protagonist of this novel Roxy. They have all been drawn to Lavender Heath and Woody who seems to be the leader of this rather interesting self help group of former has-beens is trying to get them all to see life goes on and can be very fulfilling, away from the glamour and the spotlight.
It is Woody who is the most secure of the group, he has embraced life as a window cleaner, and whilst he runs the gauntlet of bored housewives trying to bed their once famous window cleaner he likes nothing more than cleaning windows with them old white vests. But it is Roxy’s presence in the group that starts to change the dynamics of everything.
Roxy cannot understand why they seem so comfortable in their life now, especially Woody who she is so trying hard not to love – do they not want to be famous and well known any more. Roxy does and she is trying hard, as we can see throughout the book to put herself back out there. Trouble with Roxy is that she may not have changed her unique selling point but the type of celebrity world that is out there now is very different to the one she started in. So she turns her efforts to everyone else.
With a bit of coaxing, she manages to draw Sue out of her black self imposed uniform and her reclusive house, Terry suddenly seems to be more interested in fashion when it is thrust upon him, Cressida is learning more about the world and also perhaps a hair cut could help things along and Simon’s cooking skills could be another opening. But Austin’s reluctance to remain sober, Holly’s rather nervy attitude and Chelle only interested in making her husband jealous, it is going to prove a tough job.
But fame comes at a price, and as the book goes on, the media seem to have taken a huge interest in Lavender Heath and exactly where are they getting all their information from – especially the accurate information. It may seem that one of the group has been helping themselves to titbits and letting the world know everything.
This is a novel of it’s day. I am sure there are plenty of real life celebrities which we could name that fit into the stereotypical characters that the author has created. I wonder who she had in mind for all of them? And I bet as the days go and fame being so fickle, these names change as often as the daily headlines. It shows a rather desperate side of fame and whilst I disliked the character Roxy because of her rather arrogant and blunt attitude, I felt that someone should have taken her to one side and explained that she had to move on with her life. It took a long time for her to work that out – it became in parts frustrating. Roxy did not take the hint that was glaringly obvious from the first pages. The paparazzi werent interested and neither was I, and I wavered whether I would finish this book as it was too Roxy dominated. However, as I learnt more about the other characters, Roxy became less of an irritant and I progressed with the book.
A diverting novel, but more for a younger female reader than myself, it did not have enough strength in the overall story for me.
This is Eleanor Prescott’s second novel. I have her first on my shelf and I am after reading this a bit reluctant to pick it up. Sounding very snobby, as I was reading I was thinking to myself that those people out there just like Roxy are going to love this book – they will not realise that actually they are being sent up in their portrayal. I have vision, of older teenage girls all giggling about reading a book like this and not seeing the point of how life can change you for the better and for the worse, and that perhaps being famous is not the contentment that you are really after – I have suddenly got very old!!