THE J.A.P. CHRONICLES by Isabel Rose

THE J.A.P. CHRONICLES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What drama lurks behind the smooth social facade of wealthy young Jewish women in the New York Tri-State area? Actress/screenwriter/first-novelist Rose tells all.

Ali Cohen doesn’t have good memories of Camp Willow Lake, an exclusive summer spot for the toniest of Jewish society. Ali was a social outcast, and something particularly ugly happened one night in the woods when she was there. But now she’s all grown up and has even been nominated for an Academy Award for her documentary work. That’s why she’s been invited back to shoot a video about Willow Lake's 100th anniversary. It’s the perfect excuse to dig into the lives of all the popular girls who made her life hell. They haven’t all turned out so wonderfully. Arden has become a drug addict after the success of her first performance art piece. Dafna is such a princess that even her father couldn’t stand to employ her; she’s out of a job and can’t land a man to support her. Beth, who’s never done much thinking, suddenly realizes she doesn’t want to marry her fiancé and runs off with the wedding photographer. Jessica, who’d always dreamed of Broadway, is doing regional theater in Florida. Successful Hollywood agent Laura doesn’t have the time or inclination to help Jessica or anyone else. And queen bitch Wendy lives in terror that her secret life will be revealed. The plentiful stereotypes here are embellished with such convincing specifics that they’re easily forgiven. It’s chick-lit for sure, but Rose gives it some extra oomph, and following the roller-coaster plot provides quite a rush. (Unexpected pregnancy! Lesbian affair!) Through it all, the author manages to make readers care about her numerous characters. They may be shallow, mean, self-centered, ruthless and resentful, but each has her redeeming qualities. Not to mention lovingly detailed wardrobes and beauty regimes.

Glittery—and surprisingly gritty—fun.

Pub Date: May 17th, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-51286-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2005