When Life Gives You Lululemons
By Lauren Weisberger
Read by: Laura Benanti
Series: The Devil Wears Prada, Book 3
Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
Release date: 06-05-18
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
HE SET HER UP. THEY’LL BRING HIM DOWN.
Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.
Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.
When Karolina Hartwell, a gorgeous former supermodel, is arrested for a DUI, her fall from grace is merciless. Her senator-husband leaves her, her Beltway friends disappear, and the tabloids pounce.
In Karolina, Emily finds her comeback opportunity. But she quickly learns Greenwich is a world apart and that this comeback needs a team approach.
So it is that Emily, the scorned Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social land mines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public. Along the way, an indispensable ally emerges in one Miranda Priestly.
With her signature wit, Lauren Weisberger offers an alluring look into a sexy, over-the-top world—and proves it’s style and substance together that gets the job done. http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/When-Life-Gives-You-Lululemons/Lauren-Weisberger/9781508251774
Sometimes there is a book with such a hateful character that I get a huge emotional rush of indignation over the unfairness of it all.
While this is the third book in the series, this one has little to do with the actual Devil in her Prada except that she is useful and can have influence over characters. This is more about the impact she as had on her former assistant now turned celebrity handler, dresser, and spin doctor. I missed the second book in the series so these characters may all have appeared in it but I don’t know.
I missed the second book in the series; didn’t even know there was a second book. The continuing character may be Emily, Ms. Priestly’s former assistant who left the job with the other assistant to start a new magazine. I felt that perhaps Priestly was orchestrating the downfall of Emily’s business to put her in a position of having to return to her employ.
That could be a stretch. But Emily’s business is under fire due to the entry on the scene of a younger, hipper version of herself. I liked Miriam and who wouldn’t; she is home, hearth, comfort, loyalty and a great friend, mom and wife. She has chosen to focus on her family over her high-impact career when her husband’s business takes off. The abrasive, and less than couth, Emily is a little more difficult to like, but she works hard to set her clients’ lives, in this case Karolina’s, straight.
Karolina is the most vulnerable character having been obviously set-up by her deceitful, psychopathic husband, a US Senator. Karolina is kind of sweet and honest. She has been exploited as her great beauty helped her make a lot of money to support her family and then as she was a trophy for her high-profile husband, Graham. The story brings to mind beautiful women who are currently married to high-profile, unscrupulous men. Like a very high-profile woman currently in Washington DC, Karolina is from a former Soviet Block country. It sounds as if her husband is very nearly a psycopath – in the lack of conscious, the manipulative nature; not caring who he hurts including friends and family. He is absolutely the worst kind of man as he frames his wife in order to be able to divorce her. But, with Emily and Miriam on her side, Karolina has two female warriors; but Karolina has to give up some goods on her husband which she doesn’t want to do because it may hurt her stepson. But, eventually, will he be hoisted by his own petard? You ‘ll need to read it to see.
My issue about this book may have been intentional: the extras — the nameless people in coffee shops or on the street — are all stereotypes. For example, the other women in a Greenwich, Connecticut coffee shop are identified by their exercise attire by the titular workout attire company, Lululemon and their attempting to get drunk by using tampons soaked in alcohol, and wondering if they would pass an alcohol breath test, like the kind Karolina was not given. These are presented as the same type of women who went after Karolina for being a supposed lush. I don’t expect them to be well-drawn, but not one of them is presented in any depth or in a favorable light. Karolina hardly has any connection with the outside world and is like an innocent. Miriam is trying to fit into a world she is not crazy about, but wants her kids to be brought up in the suburbs. She doesn’t really feel like she fits and is often the one making out of place comments that set her a little apart. Emily is the one on the front lines who does the dirty work.
The three of them are each multi-dimensional. Karolina has had all the advantages of her career and only wants family and children. Miriam had the amazing career and was it actually a sacrifice to get out of it or is she glad to be out of the high-pressure legal profession? And, Emily is no nonsense and abrasive but has a loyal husband she is not worried about. She is a “type” but breaks the wall of that type often.
An issue with the audio is that Karolina’s voiced character sounds less Polish-speaking than Spanish-Speaking. Given the accent I was surprised to learn the character was Polish. Her aunt when she calls does have a more Polish sounding accent. Otherwise, the characters do get well-voiced: emotionally, age, gender and regionally appropriate. At ttimes the pacing seems a little slow and a few weeks in rehab seemed like filler.
Mostly I found myself wanting Miriam to step a little off the mommy-track, Emily to step back on the human track and stop smoking, and Karolina to get out of the fog. I was happy that Miriam and Emily are on her side. You do not want to be on their bad sides. After all, who else can ask a favor from the Devil herself, Miranda Priestly.
They are the friends you would want to have if your senator husband set you up. It’s a little “ripped from the headlines.” But, since Karolina actually talks and speaks up, and because her husband is not an older man, it is not specifically based on any one couple. It was certainly diverting and because Karolina’s husband is such an ass, emotionally cathartic for anger.