Sunday, 11 December 2011


While spending a few days in Barcelona for a well-deserved vacation around Europe, I got ahold of Tilly Bagshawe’s latest, FAME. You can imagine how thrilled I was finding this one. You see, in Montreal, most of her books are released much later, sometimes not at all (thank Heaven for online shopping), and coming across FAME (and J.J. Salem UK edition of THE STRIP for that matter) that easily was like finding gold. Suffice to say, I wasted little time in starting this one up since anything from Bagshawe has become a must over the years—and again she delivers.

FAME revolves around a few characters, Sabrina being the major one. She’s sort of a Lindsay Lohan-type who does not give a rat ass about her wild rep. In fact, at the start of the book she’s so out of it that she’s forced to work for zilch on a movie project (the remake of WUTHERING HEIGHTS) just to get her name back in lights. In comes newcomer and hunk extraordinaire Jake who, contrary to Miss Thing, gets millions for his part in the film, since he’s the current flavor of the month. Of course, this does not go well with Sabrina, who, before you know it, butt heads with her co-star (and with everyone else); but, surprisingly, a friendship soon evolves, one that may actually develop into something else—but divulging anything more will spoil it for you completely. Oh yeah, there’s also a rather obstinate single young mother named Letitia who leases her England estate for the film shoot. Her story line is as vital as it involves an irresponsible brother, a mom from hell, and a less than stellar environment at her work place over in Romania. Other characters include a down on his luck director who just can’t keep his buxom ex-starlet wife, now middle-aged, happy. His mission, to finish his film no matter what, makes for more troubling waters in his love life.

Just like in her previous work, expect to be enthralled with FAME. Bagshawe tries her best to keep the pace going, and succeeds at it—mostly, as the obvious sometimes resurfaces. But this shouldn’t let you stray away from enjoying the novel completely. Sex, sin, Hollywood hunchos, divas with claws, and, of course, romance—all manage to shake their respective bonbon pretty well throughout the book fast-paced thread. The author even incorporates a sub-plot involving forgotten institutionalized children in Romania, a cause that is dear to her heart (to learn more, click here). No doubt about it, the way she manages to churn out another best-seller despite “a rough year”, as stated on the acknowledgement page, just go to show you how talented (and thick skinned) she really is. So kudos to her for having delivered another firecracker beach read (or winter read), and long live her reign.

Until next post—Martin

No comments: