THE WARDROBE GIRL
Author: Jennifer Smart
Bantam Australia RRP $32.99
Review: Monique Mulligan
‘It’s just string bikinis, thongs and boardies on Pretty Beach Rescue. You could do it drunk and standing on your head.’
Reading this, I mostly enjoyed the sneak peek at soapie life, and if anything, it made me glad I didn’t have a job like Tess’s (though the clothes would be good). Think television work is glamorous? Think again. Smart’s background was clear and she drew a believable portrait of what goes on behind the scenes, even to the point of including a number of characters struggling with ageing. She neatly set up a situation in which Tess and Jake clearly still had feelings for each other, but through a series of conflicts and miscommunications, and the emergence of unresolved hurts, struggled to work things out. Sean added to the conflict (as did Jake’s girlfriend, who was really quite nice, but was just there); although a leading man on the soapie, Sean’s part in Tess’s story only served to bump up Jake in my estimation. I kept telling Tess to ignore him, but she didn’t listen! I wouldn’t class this as a romance though – it’s more soap opera, what with Tess’s family, work and relationship dramas.
Overall, an easy and fast read, good for those moments when that’s all your brain can handle. It’s relatively predictable (although it did not end on a cliffhanger per true soapie style) … but that hardly matters when chick-lit is what you’re after. This soap opera within a soap opera is a fun way to pass a few hours.
Available from good bookstores and Random House. My copy was courtesy of NetGalley via Random House.
Bookish treat: I munched on a slice of brownie while reading this. I may also have eaten some Allens’s Chocolate Eclair sweets, but I can’t quite remember.