Thursday, May 29, 2008
#28 THREE GIRLS AND THEIR BROTHER by Theresa Rebeck
Number of Book #28
Date Began and Finished 5/2 - 5/7 2008
Genre - Fiction
Year It Was Published - 2008
Publisher - Shaye Areheart Books
Number of Pages 335
Reason for reading: TBR
Rating 3.5/5 stars
Blurb or Synopsis: Pulitzer finalist Theresa Rebeck's debut novel,THREE GIRLS AND THEIR BROTHER was a well-written satire on a segment of the population whose lives are constantly fodder for the entertainment tabloids. The three girls are Daria (age 18) Polly (age 17) and youngest sister Amelia (age 14). They, along with their brother Phillip (age 15) and their ex-beauty contestant mother find themselves at the center of celebrity-dom when the NEW YORKER decides to do a segment on the three girls, whose beauty soon becomes the talk of the town. The fact that the girls are the granddaughters of the famous literary critic Leo Heller is what ultimately helped them to get this attention.
The book is narrated in four parts, with each sibling taking his/her turn. Daria and Polly are obviously wanting the celebrity and are quite excited to become models. Amelia on the other hand is wanting a more normal life, and is quite anxious to return to school. She's a role model of student, enjoys her classes, but finds that once they become celebrities, her life becomes one big mess, with no privacy whatsoever.
Things could have stayed quiet, with just the one photo shoot, but unfortunately another celebrity sees this as an opportunity. Rex Wentworth, a very popular and famous actor, invites the girls for drinks (does he realize Amelia is underage?) and meets them along with their mother and his agent Maureen (a large almost frightening woman who claims she's the great granddaughter of Kafka). Phillip shows up for this outing at Amelia's insistence, against their mother's wishes, and after being served alcoholic drinks and Rex tries to come on to Amelia (he's old enough to be her father), Amelia does the unthinkable and bites him. It didn't' help that they had already angered Maureen during a previous meeting (thanks to Phillip).
Phillip starts the narration and ends his part when he is taken away from the girls to live with their father and his second wife, so that Phillip didn't get "in the way" of the girls' fame and brand new modeling career.
What i found interesting is that with each new narration, the reader gets a different view point of what really happened. Phillip is obviously loyal to Amelia, and it shows in his narration. Daria and Polly are painted as the evil sisters, but once the reader reaches their narration, they find that their motivations are quite different from what we had learned about them from Amelia and Phillip.
Ultimately, the story of the three girls, continues to unravel as Amelia soon is asked to try out for an off-Broadway play,which she at first thinks is dreadful. And then she discovers she's got the acting bug, and announces she will peruse this new interest. Things get out of hand with the media, so they are constantly doing damage control. (A stint on Regis and Kelly was classic). Their mother comes across (to me anyway) as the bad person in this story, as she's the one that really wants the fame and fortune, living vicariously through her daughters and doing what she can to help their careers along. The book ends with a rather over the top scenario, which led me to believe this book would be a great movie script; a lot of laughs, a lot of high drama antics.
Overall, while i found this book well-written, i wasn't' sure whether I really liked it or not. Keeping in mind this was a satire helps, and I have to admit, it IS a book that is hard to put down. It's one thing after another that keeps this book from getting stale. there's a lot of action, but at the same time there is some good psychological type of characterization going on, although it was not as big part of the story line as I'd hoped for. This is NOT a serious type of story, although the way the novel ended will make one think twice. It all reads like a movie script, but many in the industry will agree that it's all spot on.