Let me just start by saying that this is the first novel that Louise Mensch has done under her married name. Some of you out there may be more familiar with her work as Louise Bagshawe.
When I found out last year that there was a new novel being released by LM, I was ecstatic! It had been a while since I’d read anything by her and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into another one of her brilliant books. I read this in February 2014 and as I’m bringing my blog up to date, I thought I’d repost last years review.
I devoured the first five chapters the night that I downloaded it onto my Kindle. I couldn’t wait. No Beauty sleep for me that night haha
We start off with a bit of Dina Kane’s background. She was born in a small suburb, her father a construction worker, her mother a bit of a social climber, her brother the apple of their parents eyes. Dina wasn’t wanted by either parent, she was a mistake, and that was made quite clear to her by her mother from the outset.
As she grows up, you really feel for Dina but admire her determination to succeed, she refuses to let her past hinder her future. When her father dies, her mother turns to drink, and Dina has to grow up fast. She won’t be going to college, her mother makes it very clear that the money they have is for her brother’s education, Dina will just have to find herself a nice husband and make do.
When she finally finishes school, Dina makes the decision to move to the big city. She wants to be in New York, and she wants to make a name for herself, to succeed in life and have money. But she has to do this from the bottom. The very bottom. She waits tables and bides her time, after all, to stay in the city she needs to be able to make the rent for the roof over her head.
She certainly experiences some bumps along the way, her road to success isn’t straightforward and she learns the hard way that some men just can’t be trusted.
The twists and turns along the way in this book are fantastic, there were certainly some points where I held my breath and thought, no, no that won’t happen, it can’t happen…..but it did. Of course I’m not going to let you have any spoilers because that would ruin it and I think you need to go into this the same way I did – completely oblivious. What I will say though, is that you really want Dina to succeed, to fight back against the forces that are tying to destroy her at every turn. You root for her every step of the way and when her heart breaks, yours does too.
I also now want to rule the world like Dina and go out and make myself look brilliant with only a few select items! Beauty will certainly be one of those books I can go back and read again and again.
Here’s the official book description…it doesn’t really give you a lot to be honest, but it does give you just enough.
Dream Big. No Limits. Be Bold. Manhattan is there for the taking .
Blend it. Sculpt it. Shape it. Use it…
There isn’t a woman on earth who doesn’t have her beauty secrets. But for Dina Kane, beauty is more than just business. It’s power. And it isthe secret. She’s dragged herself up from poverty to Park Avenue. She’s rolled with the punches. And she’s learned how to win.
Now someone is out to destroy her, and all she’s built. They’ve underestimated Dina Kane. She’s staying at the top – and she’s happy to wait for the perfect moment to exact her revenge…
And as for the cover, well let’s just say I wouldn’t mind owning it in paperback because I think it’s so gorgeous.