Last Night at Chateau Marmont
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". . . another fantastic story that will keep readers glued to the page . . ."
It’s always beyond a pleasure to receive a book from this fantastic author who brought The Devil Wears Prada to the masses. Not only does Ms. Weisberger possess the gift of writing ten-fold, but she also has an undeniable way of “speaking” to women and really getting to the heart of the matter, while providing page after page of complete and utter entertainment.
In this new offering, we meet Brooke Alter. Brooke is one of those amazing women who most men would die for. She has worked her proverbial behind off for years supporting her husband, while he’s tried his best to make something out of his music career. While he’s been playing across the city at “dives” in the East Village, Brooke has been working two jobs – one as a nutritionist at NYU Hospital, and the other as a consultant who really helps the privileged yet, confused, girls in an Upper East Side school.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Brooke comes home one evening and her husband announces that he has landed a contract with Sony, and that they’ve given him a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar advance to create an album for their company. Now, John doesn’t go completely crazy over this; he still feels that it’s just a “shot” and that the chances he’ll ever really be a “hit” in the music industry are slim to none. But…at least there’s now an actual chance looming on the horizon for him and his wonderful wife to have a better future.
Karma and fate being what they are, John’s music takes off and his album premieres at number four on the Billboard chart. All of a sudden, Brooke’s calm, responsible, dependable life is pushed into the stratosphere and everything she thought she knew and could count on, starts to go haywire. She finds herself leaving work, or calling in for vacation time in order to travel with her husband to the Coast and meet his agents, publicists, and handlers. She finds herself absolutely disgusted by Leo, the new manager who seems to care only for money and not the fact that his superstar client’s wife is heartbroken at the amount of time she’s missing with her husband. To say that Brooke is not ready for all the star treatment would be the understatement of the century. She’s certainly happy for her husband, and she definitely doesn’t get upset about sitting at the pool at the Chateau Marmont and meeting people like Jon Bon Jovi in passing, but she truly misses the “regular” life that she’s led for so long.
Soon her two bosses start to get upset about all the time Brooke’s taking off from work, and Brooke has to find a way to walk that thin line between dutiful wife and dutiful employee. When the paparazzi start going berserk and planting themselves outside her home waiting for any chance they can get to tell Brooke that her husband is cheating on her, Brooke finds herself falling into an abyss of desperation, desolation, and loneliness. The true “test” of her marriage arrives and Brooke has to come to terms with the fact that when a dream is finally achieved, payment must be made.
As I said at the beginning of this review, it is no surprise when Ms. Weisberger writes a story that not only offers glamorous fun and witty dialogue, but also touches on subjects such as divorce, infidelity, eating disorders, and the horrific hype that comes from the world of tabloid journalism. This is yet another fantastic story that will keep readers glued to the page wondering if, perhaps, the “normal” life they lead IS actually the greatest gift anyone could possibly receive.
Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor