Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review: J'adore New York

Most of the year I read history, fashion theory or literary fiction, but summertime means I dip into lighter fare. At the top of my list was J'adore New York, by Montreal-based author Isabelle LaFleche. Having once had a corner office myself, I was drawn to this novel about high finance and couture.

Catherine Lambert is a lawyer working in the world of high finance. She takes a transfer from Paris to New York and steps into a minefield of a workplace. She has to dodge advances from clients, dreary due diligence trips, conflicting assignments from partners, and malicious secretaries. The reality of her job is hard and unrelenting. Her hopes of finding love and taking pleasure in the big city seem unattainable.

Of course, like all good chick-lit books, this one follows a predictable pattern, but it did not diminish my pleasure. The author Isabelle LaFleche actually worked as a corporate lawyer in New York for several years and there is an authenticity and intelligence to her writing. J'adore New York was a delightful weekend read.

Favourite Passage:

"I stop in front of Dior's majestic store on 57th and take in every detail. They have multi-tiered beaded heels on display and ruffled leather handbags that make my jaw drop. I still can't believe I'll be doing legal work for Dior. I take a deep breath and feel totally intoxicated by the idea. I then move on to Madison and peek into Barney's windows. I love looking at the cuts, the fabrics, and the way the designers play with proportions. All the stores I've only read about in American Vogue and seen on my favourite French fashion blog are here in front of me. I let the world of prospectuses, memos and legal briefs slip away for today. Now I'm ready for dreams of taffeta, organza and mousseline." (page 32)

Title: J'adore New York
Author: Isabelle LaFleche
Publisher: HarperCollins 2010
Category: Fiction
Number of Pages: 390
Price: Amazon $22.95