Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"4 Blondes" by Candance Bushnell

"4 Blondes" is a collection of novellas written by the creator of "Sex and the City", but unlike that show, this book is all style, no heart, and except for the first novella, no fun. It was a chore to get through.

The kind of soul occurs in the first story: "Nice N' Easy" about Janey, an almost washed up, unemployed model/accidental actress who dates a different man each summer so she can spend the season in the Hamptons, while her NYC apartment is a cockroach infested and not airconditioned.

The novella follows her relationships and the unusual way in which a hint of redemption enters into her life. Her mother talks about the truth of life, and points to Janey's sister who has become very successful. "No, she is not perfect. But she is smart. She knows she has to work life. You are very beautiful, Janey. But even if you are very beautiful, you must work at life." (100)

On 108, Janey reflects upon her )fabulous) life and the life of the ordinary. "Her life would stretch before her. There would be a certain blandness about them, but after all, wasn't that what most lives were like? Most people got up every morning and went to a job. They dated ordinary people and went to the movies. They didn't go to black-tie events. They didn't model in fashion shows...and they survived. Hell, they were probably happy."

How does Janey redeem herself? By finally being honest and vulnerable with herself. She is asked to audition for a Victoria's Secret campaign and they ask her some questions, and for the first time she truly let;s down her guard and she says "I don't know where I'm going, but I know I'm going somewhere." A real estate agent later talks to her and says "Don't we all feel that way, though." (115).

The novella ends with a baptismal-like scene in which Janey goes out to the patio of the Hampton home she rented with her own money. She realizes the man she loves will never leave his wife for her. And with the gift of acceptance, what does she do? Stick her toe into the pool, test out the temperature of the water, and dives right in. (116).

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