Thursday, June 10, 2010

'Three Girls and their Brother'- Review

Publisher: HarperCollins

248 Pages

Opening Line:
'Now that it's all over, everybody is saying it was the picture, that stupid picture was the primal cause of every disaster that would eventually befall my redheaded sisters.'


Firstly, apologises if this review is littered with mistakes. My dog decided that she wanted to join me at the computer and is currently laying across one arm. I could push her off, but how could you say 'no' to this face:

So, I'll carry on regardless!

I was sent 'Three Girls and Their Brother' by Theresa Rebeck, by a friend in England. It came free with a magazine and she thought that I would enjoy reading it.

It tells the story of Philip Heller and his three sisters Amelia, Polly and Daria, the grand children of a famous author and literary critic, Leo Heller. When their celebrity status catapults the siblings into the glitz and glam of celebrity life, everything is fabulous.

However, after an altercation between Amelia, the youngest of the group and a famous actor, the siblings are taken on a roller coaster ride of parties, paparazzi and the darker side of fame.

The story is told from the four perspective of Philip and his sisters. From Philip being cast out of the family by their mother, purely because he gets in the way of her plans of stardom for the more beautiful members of her offspring, to the manipulation and quest for fame, experienced by the three sisters. I liked this approach to the novel, but I felt that the writer didn't quite pull this off, as I felt like each person didn't have their own distinctive 'voice'. In fact at times, I had to go back to the beginning of the section that I was reading, to clarify which person was actually talking. One thing I did like, was the way in which the characters were talking to the reader directly. I generally think that this approach of writing draws the reader in.

I'm not a prude when it comes to swearing in novels, but I did find that there was a little overuse of swear words. I do understand that the writer included swearing, to show how the world of fame was dropping the standards of the sister's behaviour. However I did find, that the writer over did it where the swearing was concerned.

The pace of the novel was good, I felt like everything was adequately explained, but what I think was lacking in the novel, was a thorough development on the issue of the dangers of fame. For example, 'The Devil wears Prada' by Lauren Weisberger, in my opinion, is not only a fun, girlie novel, but it also highlights how the illusion of the fashion industry, distances those within from the real world. I think that 'Three Girls and their Brother' was trying to follow suit, but didn't quite succeed.

The novel was at one point, doing a good job; it talked about Philip's neglect by his family and Amelia's dangerous situation being a 14 year old, surrounded by older men. However, I felt disappointed that instead of seeing this issue as seriously as it should have been, Rebeck gives a silly spin on it and therefore taking away any serious message.

'Three Girls and their Brother' had the potential to make a real statement about the fashion/celebrity industry, however it wasn't quite able to fulfill that potential. However, this is a fun (if a bit silly) read.

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1 comment:

  1. Sometimes the cat sits against me or on me or even worse on the computer when i am writing si I quite understand. Lovely review thanks for sharing