There’s no doubt about it, Meredith Rich’s BARE ESSENCE (Fawcett Books) is a blast. It came at just the right moment, during the first term of the Reagan administration. That’s right, in 1981 when glitz and glam was about to rule the world. DALLAS was already a success on TV while DYNASTY was trying to find its sea legs. As for me, well, I was knee deep into horror. I was around 15 and was still oblivious to trash fiction. Oh I already did read my share of bad books. I just didn’t realize it—yet. Funny how taste changes over time. My love for glam fiction, however, is still ever-present. I’m just a little pickier in my choices now. BARE ESSENCE came into my life in the mid-80s after having read all the collins and robbins and sheldons in existence. I remember digging it just as much.
BARE ESSENCE is now available wherever digital books are sold.
The main focus is on a rich man’s kid who wants to make a name for herself in the perfume industry. Of course she’ll have to move many mountains to reach that highly-sought plateau, one of them being making amends with her distant but oh-so glamorous of a mother who’s been screwing everybody around including her own daughter. In between she’ll fall in love, get her heart broken then rediscover love and learn the true meaning of self-respect (yes, I’m challenging THE LONELY LADY pivotal speech scene). In conclusion, she finds her rainbow after all, like any well-intentioned trashy heroine with a silver spoon up her ass can. Oh and there are a bunch of other rich folks whose sole purpose is to stir the pot. In other words, nothing is reinvented in this novel but all is still impressively displayed since Meredith Rich (Claudia Jessup) knows a thing or two about keeping the plot scrumptious.
In fact, BARE ESSENCE is more than just a time waster in my eyes. It is an integral part of why I still love reading this genre. Everything in it is so over-the-top perfect that you want it to go on and on indefinitely. I am not surprised Hollywood made a miniseries out of it. And of course it will be featured on this blog when time permits. Just as the short-lived TV series that came afterwards will. If only I could get my hands on that one. I have yet to get around to Rich’s other four novels but once done you will be the first to know.
Until next post—Martin