I’m usually a fan of chick lit, but I’d have to say I’m not so much a fan of Bergdorf Blondes. I tend to lean toward chick lit with protagonists that find themselves in ridiculous situations, usually by their own fault, but there is some redeeming quality about them that makes them likable. The Becky Bloomwoods of the world may spend money like it’s water, but, at heart, they’re good people. I’m not so sure the same can be said of the characters in Bergdorf Blondes.
Though the book initially seems as if it may focus on Julie Bergdorf, of THE Bergdorfs, it quickly shifts back to the narrator of the story, a character simply known as Moi. Moi is an Englishwoman by birth, but much prefers living in America. Her American born but British living mother is obsessed with marrying her off to a title Englishman. Meanwhile, Julie, Moi’s best friend, is obsessed with finding herself a potential husband. It’s not that she has any intention of marrying anyone; she just thinks it would be nice to have a fiancé around to elevate her status.
As we follow the antics of Moi and her crew of friends on their quest to find “the right one,” it becomes apparent that these women have a lot of time on their hands. While some of them may have jobs, their real careers are navigating the social waters of New York and Europe. There’s a lot of backstabbing and pettiness that makes me hesitant to call these women friends. The way they interact with each other and the people in their lives reminds me much more of teenagers. If Moi and her friends are like characters from Mean Girls, Julie is definitely the head of the plastics.
I’m not familiar with Plum Sykes or any of her other writing, though I understand that it’s well received. I also understand that this is one of her early books that’s been re-released, so some of her references are dated. It’s my hope that her more recent work shows growth. I’d hate to think that future audiences will be burdened with the predictable yet meandering story line readers are subjected to in Bergdorf Blondes.
Published: May 2005
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.
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