Let me preface this by saying I have been a fan of Sex and the City and Lipstick Jungle, the two series for which Candace Bushnell is best known. I loved how her characters were so relatable that you either saw yourself or someone you know in each of them.
Unfortunately, overall this book just didn’t have that same pull. For starters, I didn’t realize this book was non-fiction until nearly 20% of the way into reading it. I thought it was similar to how Bushnell created Carrie Bradshaw–semi-autobiographical but still fiction. I didn’t realize the story was purely autobiographical. As other reviewers noted, the way her divorce and the death of her dog are described was so distant that it felt emotionless. Without revealing any spoilers, the end of the book was the only portion where I felt true emotion and felt that it was honest, candid writing.
Overall, the book was easy to read and I enjoyed reading it, which is why I’m giving it 3 Cosmopolitans out of 5. However, I felt the book was directionless and it didn’t pack the same punchy humour and witticisms of her past work.
Thank you to Net Galley for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was my first Bukowski novel and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The protagonist, Henry Chinaski, is a downtrodden working man who has his sights set on booze, women and surviving his work day. When I read the synopsis on the back of the book, the feminist in me rolled her eyes.
I was surprised to find so much depth to Chinaski, a real human side that peaked through the cracks of his harsh exterior. What he deemed to be true happiness was always slightly out of reach. I think that is a strong commentary that can resonate with most people; we’re always looking at the next level of happiness we can achieve. I made it through the work day. When I get to the weekend I’ll be happy. Once I land this new, better job I’ll finally be happy. Chinaski is constantly chasing his next level of happiness and it’s always just out of his grasp. His thoughts and speech made me laugh out loud.
There were passages in the novel where my heart ached for him and the other characters he interacted with as well. This book is punchy, heartfelt and is an overall easy/light read.
I’ve been hearing so much hype around this trilogy that I had to check it out. I don’t tend to gravitate towards fantasy novels in general but wanted to give this one a shot. The story enveloped me from the first chapter. There was enough mystery and wonder to compel the reader to want to read the book in one sitting. Four concurrent Londons? Magic in many different forms? Cunning thieves? A coat within a coat within a coat? Count me in!
Kell, with his mysterious origin story and fascinating use of magic while maintaining morality.
The charming, light-hearted Rhy, and the solid brotherly bond between him and Kell.
Delilah Bard, all-around bad ass.
Holland, with his dark, mysterious motives whilst serving the Dane siblings in White London.
MY ONLY PROBLEM WITH THIS BOOK [slight spoiler ahead] is the scene where Kell is talking to Lila about Astrid Dane. He says that Lila isn’t strong enough to take on Astrid. Lila retorts with, “Why, because I’m a girl?”…when Astrid is a woman herself. Lila’s indignant response in this scene didn’t make any sense.
I loved them all. Each character had motives that you couldn’t immediately decipher; the motives were very plausible and human, even in a fantasy setting. I look forward to seeing what trouble Kell and Lila get into next!