Lauren Weisberger’s books had a profound influence on my life. At least, The Devil Wears Prada and Everyone Worth Knowing did, after that I kind of cooled on Weisberger.
But I knew I wanted to work in the fancy pants entertainment world because of her, but I never wanted to be an actress, I wanted to be the people behind the people. I’m now a very popular entertainment blogger because of it!
OK, not really, but, I have always liked Weisberger’s take on the lives of the rich, fabulous and crazy, and When Life Gives You Lululemons, which picks up a few years after Revenge Wears Prada, with Emily, the best part of both previous books bar none. (And certainly the best part of the movie!) Emily now works as a Hollywood fixer, putting her Miranda Priestly honed talent for no bullshit and doing whatever it takes to work. She’s good at her job, but also, largely starting to feel a bit out of touch.
Miriam Hapag is an old friend of Emily’s trying to adjust to life as a stay at home mom rather than the high powered lawyer she’d been previously. An old friend of Miriam’s Katalina sees her perfect life (married to a senator, loving relationship with her stepson.) go belly up due to some bogus DUI charges. The three women band together to get Katalina the justice she deserves.
Like most of what works best in Weisberger’s books, when the stakes are personal, her characters shine. I think she tends to get in over her head with soapy subplots, so the conspiracy around Lina’s divorce is a little much for me. (I feel similarly about Andie’s friend Lilly getting black out drunk and nearly dying and Andie flying off to Paris anyway. A subplot mercifully excised from the film.) But these three women working together and navigating the unfamiliar but still insane world of the chi-chi suburbs.
Emily’s perfect but odd marriage to the bro-ey Miles (my favorite aspect of Revenge.) is a great detail. Miriam’s desire to be a stay at home mom, and her joy at realizing carbs are not the enemy is my favorite part. And Karalina is just a sweetheart and a half, and you’re never not rooting for her.
Weisberger’s prose is clean and pithy and easy to read. I might revist the books of hers I’ve skipped now, because I greatly enjoyed this one. (I stopped after Chasing Harry Winston and Revenge did little to tempt me back.)
Up next is Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen. More New York fab-ness, just this time with some period gloss.