Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Charlie Glass's Slippers: A Very Modern Fairy Tale - Holly McQueen

Charlie Glas'ss Slippers
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Source: I received a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

Book Blurb
When Charlie’s beloved father, iconic shoe designer Elroy Glass, dies after a long illness, everyone expects that he’ll leave his business to his glamorous wife and eldest daughters. After all, they’ve been running the company for years. But Elroy surprises everyone from beyond the grave: at the will reading, it’s announced that his fashion empire has been left to Charlie, his youngest—and plumpest—daughter.

Before she can run the company, Charlie decides she needs to make a few changes in her life. After several weeks at a California boot camp, she returns to London a new woman: thinner, blonder, and ready to revitalize the Elroy Glass brand. But as she’ll soon discover, a good esthetician and a killer pair of stilettos can only go so far, and there’s more to reinvention—and running a fashion empire—than meets the eye.


My Thoughts
Holly McQueen has taken one of my favorite fairy tales and created a wonderful modern day story.  Let me tell you some of the things that made this really stand out in my mind.  First we have Charlie which is short for Charlotte.  She is the plump member of the family.  She gets walked on by her sisters.  She is a peacemaker. She is not exactly a fashionista.  Her sister Gaby is all show and about as snooty and uppity as they come.  Robyn tries to put on airs. She definitely has some problems. She’s just come back from getting help from having a break down.

Charlie has a small dinner and ends up trying to keep peace the entire time. When two of the guests, one of whom was not originally invited complain they can’t eat the food and order food in, she takes it in stride.  She is definitely someone who needs to stand up to others. I love that she considers her step-mother the “Ice Queen”, “High Priestess of Mordor”, She Who Must Not Be Named.”  It gives us an idea of what she thinks of the woman. Something else unique about this story is the way she became Charlie’s step-mother.  Charlie’s father was married to Gabby and Robyn’s mother.  They got a divorce and later he married Charlie’s mom and they had her.  Charlie’s mom died when she was run over and Charlie went to live with her Step-family. She was always considered lowly because her mother was a domestic and not high society like her step-mother. Charlie’s step mom is so verbally abusive to her. In front of other people she tries to put on a good act.  I believe that is one reason I really could not stand her.  I took great pleasure in learning Charlie’s dad had left 51% of the shares to her because she had given up her own life to take care of him, while the other members of his family only took from him.

Revenge might not be what Charlie set out to get when she takes a leave and comes back with a new look and a new idea for moving the business forward. That is exactly what she gets. 

I loved the book.  The characters were so well developed that you could not help loving some and really despising others.  I really look forward to reading anything else this author puts out.  I would highly recommend this book with a lot of quirky twists.  It is one you have to sit and read cover to cover.

About the Author:
Holly McQueen is the author of four novels—The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder, Fabulously Fashionable, Confetti Confidential, and There Goes the Bride. She lives in London with her husband.

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