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Publisher's Summary

She's borrowed your life. But what if she decides to keep it?

Glamorous Margot Jones is the fashion editor at glossy women's magazine Haute and pregnant with her first child. Margot's used to her carefully curated life being the object of other women's envy - who wouldn't want her successful career, loving husband, beautiful house and stylish wardrobe? 

Maggie, a freelance journalist, certainly knows she doesn't measure up. So when Margot gets in touch to suggest she apply for her maternity cover at Haute, Maggie seizes the chance at living a better life - even if it's only temporary.

But the simultaneous arrival of Margot's baby and a brutal end to her oldest friendship sends Margot into a spiral of suspicion and paranoia. Are Maggie's motives as innocent as they seem? And what happens at the end of the year when Margot wants her old life back - especially if Maggie decides she doesn't want to leave?

©2020 Harriet Walker (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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  • 05-30-20

The Devil Wears Primark - Dire Narration

I grabbed this audio book as it sounded glamorous and intriguing - an exclusive invite to the elite world of fashion.

Oh-oh! First listen was so off-putting. Obviously for Haute Magazine read Vogue ... but this narrator sounds like she would be more at home working for Oat Magazine as simply the opposite of glamorous which the thesaurus lists as boring, irksome, tedious, tiresome, wearisome,abhorrent, abominable, appalling, awful, distasteful, hideous, horrendous, horrible, horrid, invidious, loathsome, nauseating, noisome, obnoxious, odious, offensive, shocking, sickening,drab, dreary, dull, flat, humdrum, jading, leaden, monotonous, pedestrian, ponderous.

But wait a minute - you cannot blame the narrator of "Margot" for all the drabness, there is the dead baby, the obsession with pregnancy including the historical list of all that could and did go wrong in the olden days with childbirth, the offer to "Get down on her hands and knees and scrub the floor" of a poor pal whose pregnancy did not go as well as hers.

Hello! This is built up to be a fashion editor of Vogue - complete with rip-off Anna Wintour-clone boss who is intimidated by ever aspect of the fashion business, yet seems to be doing so very well - until her pregnancy, which we go into forensically.

So then the pal who she puts forward to fill in for her maternity leave. Unlikely candidate to say the least.

Then the fashion editor becomes model for a magazine layout photo shoot? Really!

That is just bonkers.

Cut back to loads and loads and loads about childbirth, guilt, teen bffs ......... what?

I signed on for a glossy fashion lifestyle intersects with a gorgeous psychopath pretender who tries to steal the show .... not a dull drone describing all the grimness of pregnancy and childbirth while a short plump woman does fashion shoots causing dull drone on maternity leave to panic.

Narration wise Margot has the vocal charm of nails on a blackboard, while Maggie, all sultry seductiveness, seems to require so much time to enunciate each honey dripped syllable, that I had to check that I had not got switched to half instead of full speed.

I recommend switching to at least 1.25 speed for the Maggie chapters as it is almost comedic to hear her drawl though her lines otherwise.

Either way, unconfident, fish out of water Margot is completely implausible as a dull as ditchwater drudge with the front seat at all the top fashion shows who once she leaves work dives into the most mundane homelife eschewing any airs and graces and becomes a boring housewife. Short, round, big bottomed, gobby Maggie is an equally unbelievable character to stand in for a Fashion Editor of Margot. or indeed anyone's experience, as apart from actually having an interest in fashion, as a freelance journalist why on earth would she be picked to take over such a hugely prestigious and sought after job. Another square peg being ridiculously hammered into an already very clunky plot.

To summarise - exotic high fashion this is not.

Instead - imagine the pregnancy obsessed manager of the local pound shop is going on maternity leave and looking for a replacement and this is the level of glamour we are at. If you are intrigued by pregnancy, childbirth and of the mindset that everyone is obsessed with pregnant women and cannot tear their eyes of them, then you will probably enjoy this.

If you were hoping for achingly high fashion, Machiavellian machination, exotic locations, clever, catty, cut-throat amazonian ambition and generally a bit of fun, great thrills and spills, bags of style and flair plus twists and turns all set in the glamorous world of a top fashion glossy mag with maybe a modern day homage to Single White Female or even AbFab, then you, like me are sadly out of luck.

Just so wrong to try and set this mundane kitchen sink/pregnancy/childbirth drama in the world of high fashion as so much more like an episode of Eastenders/Emmerdale/Coronation Street rather than The Devil Wears Prada.

Depressing muchly :-(

2 people found this helpful