Title: 4 Blondes.
Author: Candace Bushnell.
Genre: Fiction, chick-lit, romance.
Publication Date: February 2001.
Summary: This charts the romantic intrigues, liaisons, betrayals and victories of four modern women: a beautiful B-list model finagles rent-free summerhouses in the Hamptons from her lovers until she discovers she can get a man but can't get what she wants; a high-powered magazine columnist's floundering marriage to a literary journalist is thrown into crisis when her husband's career fails to live up to her expectations; a 'Cinderella' records her descent into paranoia in her journal as she realises she wants anybody's life except her own; an artist and aging 'It girl' - who fears that her time for finding a man has run out - travels to London in search of the kind of love and devotion she can't find in Manhattan.
My rating: 6/10
♥ Here are a few of the things they agree on: They hate anyone who isn't like them. They hate anyone who is wealthy and successful and gets press (especially Donald Trump). They hate trendy people and things (although James did just buy a pair of Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses). They hate TV; big-budget movies; all commercial, poorly written books on The New York Times best-seller list (and the people who read them); fast-food restaurants; guns; Republicans; neo-Nazi youth groups; fashion models (fashion editors); fat on red meat; small, yappy dogs and the people who own them.
They hate people who do drugs. They hate people who drink too much (unless it's one of their friends, and then they complain bitterly about the person afterward). They hate the Hamptons (but rent a house there anyway, on Shelter Island, which, they remind themselves, isn't really the Hamptons). They believe in the poor (they do not know anyone who is poor, except their Jamaican nanny, who is not exactly poor). They believe in black writers (they know two, and Winnie is working on becoming friends with a third, whom she met at a convention). They hate music and especially MTV (but Winnie sometimes watches "Where Are They Now?" on VH1, especially if the artist in question is now a drug addict or alcoholic). They think fashion is silly (but secretly identify with the people in Dewar's ads). They think the stock market is a scam (but James invests ten thousand dollars a year anyway, and checks his stocks every morning on the Internet). They hate Internet entrepreneurs who are suddenly worth hundreds of millions of dollars (but Winnie secretly wishes he were more successful. Much more successful). They hate what is happening to the world. They don't believe in a free lunch.
They do believe in women writers (as long as the women do not become too successful or get too much attention or write about things the Diekes don't approve of - like sex - unless it's lesbian sex). James, who is secretly afraid of homosexuals (he's afraid he might be one, because he's secretly fascinated with both his and Winnie's assholes), says he is a feminist, but always puts down women who are not like Winnie (including her sister). Who are not serious. Who do not have children. Who are not married. Winnie gets physically ill at the sight of a woman she considers a slut. Or worse, a whore.
The Diekes don't know people who go to clubs or stay out late, or have sex (except Winnie's sister). People who stay up late can't, by their definition, be "serious". It takes the Diekes all day (and often all into the evenings) to get their jobs done. By then, they are so exchausted, they can only go home and eat dinner (prepared by the Jamaican nanny) and go to sleep. (Winnie has to get up at six to be with her child and go running. The child is four. Winnie hopes that the child will soon be able to run with her). At home, they are cozy and superior, and sometimes (when they're not working) sit around in fuzzy flannel pajamas with their child. Winnie and the child wear slippers in the shape of stuffed animals, and Winnie makes their slippered, stuffed-animal feet talk to one another. The child is a sweet and happy and beautiful child who never complains. (He crawls into bed with Winnie as often as he can. He says, "Mommy, I love you.") He is learning to read. (Winnie and James know he is a genius). "But he's a real boy," Winnie always says to her friends, who, like her, are well adjusted and earning incomes over a hundred and fifty thousand a year, who always have one or two children. It always shocks Winnie when she says this. It makes her a little afraid, because she does not like to admit that men and women are different. (If men and women are different, where does that leave her?)
Winnie believes (no, knows) that she is as smart as James (even though she's not sure that he will ever admit it) and as good a journalist as he is and as good a writer. She often thinks that she is actually better than he (in every way, not just journalism), but he (being a man) has gotten more breaks. James's style of writing and her style of writing (which she picked up from James, who picked it up from other writers of his ilk) was not hard to figure out how to do, once she understood the motivation. Ditto for their conversational style: pseudo-intellectual and desperately clever at the same time - "cl-intellectual". (Tell me I'm smart - or I'll wound you.)
Winnie is deeply bitter and James is deeply bitter buy they never talk about it.
♥ Her days would stretch before her. There would be a certain blandness to them, but after all, wasn't that what most people's lives were like? Most people got up every morning and went to do a job. They dated ordinary people and went to the movies. They didn't go to black-tie events. They didn't model in fashion shows. They didn't date best-selling authors or billionaires or movie moguls. They didn't have their names in the gossip columns, good or bad, and they especially didn't have summer houses in the Hamptons. And they survived.
Hell, they were probably happy.
♥ Because marriage is supposed to make you happy, not make you feel like a rat trapped in a very glamorous cage with twenty-thousand-dollar silk draperies.
And this is the best there is. It doesn't get any better than this, does it?
Because this is it. The crown. The dream. The brass ring. No more worries. Nor a care in the world. Your mother will never starve in her old age. Your sister will have her new car. Your children will go to private school, have nannies, and all the toys they want, including a pony. Honor will be restored to your family name. Your mother will be proud of you. Your father, wherever he is, the bastard, will realize he made a terrible mistake.
And you will have: 1) A castle. 2) Houses around the world. 3) A chauffeur. 4) Lots of clothes with matching shoes and handbags. 5) Jewelry. 6) A horse. 7) A saddle(s) from Hermes. And 8) No friends.