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THE FABULOUSLY FASHIONABLE LIFE OF ISABEL BOOKBINDER by Holly McQueen

THE FABULOUSLY FASHIONABLE LIFE OF ISABEL BOOKBINDER

By Holly McQueen

Pub Date: May 25th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4391-3796-3
Publisher: Atria

A ridiculous follow-up to The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder (2008) in which a young Londoner wiggles her way into becoming a Top International Fashion Designer.

Isabel has now decided to follow her real dream (not the literary dream that occupied the last novel) of becoming a fashion designer. She is brainstorming names for her perfume and imagining Daniel Craig in the adverts. That she can’t sew or draw doesn’t dissuade Isabel in her quest, but she is a bit shocked when she is turned down for a spot in the prestigious Central Saint Martins master’s program. As coincidence would have it (and many are needed to keep the plot moving), coupled with a little lying about her credentials, Isabel gets a job as PA to Nancy Tavistock, editor-at-large at Atelier magazine and partner/muse to bad-boy designer Lucien Black. Things should be going well (Nancy is lovely to work for), but Isabel keeps getting into catastrophic situations: getting arrested when Nancy requested “crystal mesh” and Isabel heard “crystal meth,” or dumping her hardworking boyfriend before hearing his side of the story (is he really having an affair with a Russian tax attorney?). Isabel begins dating Ben (awful in every way) and designing for the aristocracy (the plump, middle-aged kind whose daywear includes cardigans and a pair of wellies). Things get worse when Isabel discovers Ben is in a merger to cheat Nancy out of her share of Lucien’s expansion deal, but when Nancy finds out, will she think Isabel’s a spy? It’s hard to root for Isabel and her dream of becoming a fashion designer, as she doesn’t actually want to design (at least not until the last few pages)—she simply wants to reap the rewards success would bring.

A shallow, tedious tour through London’s fashion scene.