Last Night at Chateau Marmont

Lauren Weisberger, Author
Lauren Weisberger, Atria, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4391-3661-4
Reviewed on: 07/05/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Brooke and Julian Alter are a happy couple—she's a nutritionist working two jobs to support them, he's a talented musician with a low-level recording contract—but when Julian hits it big in The Devil Wears Prada author Weisberger's not-ready-for-prime-time latest, their marriage wobbles under the strain of fame. Suddenly Julian is traveling nonstop, a pawn of his manager and publicist, and Brooke tries to balance her career with her desire to back him up. Paparazzi stalk their every move (believable in his case, less so in hers); her job is threatened by her repeated absences to attend events like Julian's Grammy appearance; and their shared giddiness dissipates as they are divided—physically and emotionally—as a couple. It takes many dozens of pages and a number of by-the-way announcements that might have ratcheted up the tension if they'd been part of the story to get Brooke and Julian into a crisis, unsurprising though that crisis may be. Weisberger has insightful takes about the price of success in our celebrity-obsessed culture, but Brooke and Julian hew too closely to type to make their struggles sympathetic. (Aug.)
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