Book reviews

Posts tagged ‘Lauren Weisberger’

Where The Grass Is Green And The Girls Are Pretty by Lauren Weisberger

Lauren Weisberger is a polished writer and Where The Grass Is Green And The Girls Are Pretty is a polished novel, but I didn’t particularly care for this story about two entitled sisters, Peyton and Skye.

Peyton was a popular and successful anchor on an American morning television show to whom appearances meant everything. She was cautious about her diet, exercise, clothes and who she socialised with, and she also micro-managed every aspect of her husband and teenage daughter’s lives.

When Peyton wrote an enormous cheque for a charity to have strings pulled to get Max admitted to Princeton University her crime was found out, but at her manager’s suggestion Peyton’s husband Isaac took the blame and spent the rest of this book facing jail time. Their daughter Max, a budding film-maker, had never wanted to go to Princeton in the first place and was disgusted by what she believed her father had done.

Skye was a suburban mother who ran everything from the local Girl Scouts, to school fund-raisers and the PTA, but despite being capable, clever, good-looking and a charity queen she was constantly comparing herself to other parents in her circle, many of whom were much richer than her family was. Surprisingly, Skye and Gabe’s adopted daughter Aurora was sweet and unspoiled.

I didn’t relate to Peyton or Skye or the trivial things that were important to them although as the story developed the reasons why they acted the way they did became clear.

To be fair, Max wasn’t a terrible person and neither was Isaac, Gabe or Aurora. But for me, the minor characters weren’t engaging enough to make up for Peyton and Skye and their superficial values.

The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger

The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger is an enjoyable retelling of this author’s most well-known story, The Devil Wears Prada, only in this version the heroine’s world is tennis rather than fashion.

The story follows Charlie Silver, an American tennis player who was playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon for the first time when she slipped and suffered what could have been a career-ending injury. Six months later, Charlie had recovered and desperate to prove herself, engaged a notoriously difficult coach to take her to the very top.

Charlie was naturally a sweetheart but under her new coach’s regime she was styled as a Warrior Princess. She dieted, exercised harder, engaged a hitting partner and trained harder than she ever had before. Her image was also made over and when the media realised Charlie was dating Marco Vallejo, the hottest and most successful tennis player on the men’s circuit, her sponsorship earnings went ballistic. However, Charlie was torn between wanting to be nice and wanting to win.

Behind the scenes, not everything was as it seemed. Charlie and Marco only hooked up when their schedules aligned, which was rare. Charlie was in danger of losing her connection with her father, she was too busy to attend her best friend’s wedding and she was learning that there were very few true friendships amongst the players on the circuit. Worst of all, Charlie was finding it easier and easier to sell out her own values in order to win.

The Singles Game is enormously glamorous. Charlie travelled all over the world, hung out with all of the top tennis players, wore fabulous clothes and earned enormous amounts of money.

Things eventually went catastrophically wrong for Charlie when she found herself partying too hard.

My timing of reading The Singles Game was good considering that the US Open 2020 had just begun when I read this. Although I love tennis, I think Ash Barty’s decision not to compete so she or her team didn’t risk exposure to COVID-19 was the right decision.

I imagine most tennis fans will enjoy the froth and glamour of The Singles Game.

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