Monday, June 21, 2010

Mini-review: Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen

Read: 23 May - 4 June 2010
Pages: 337

It’s an otherwise ordinary Monday when Meghan Fitzmaurice’s perfect life hits a wall. A household name as the host of Rise and Shine, the country’s highest-rated morning talk show, Meghan cuts to a commercial break–but not before she mutters two forbidden words into her open mike. In an instant, it’s the end of an era, not only for Meghan, who is unaccustomed to dealing with adversity, but also for her younger sister, Bridget, a social worker in the Bronx who has always lived in Meghan’s long shadow. The effect of Meghan’s on-air truth telling reverberates through both their lives, affecting Meghan’s son, husband, friends, and fans, as well as Bridget’s perception of her sister, their complex childhood, and herself. What follows is a story about how, in very different ways, the Fitzmaurice women adapt, survive, and manage to bring the whole teeming world of New York to heel by dint of their smart mouths, quick wits, and the powerful connection between them that even the worst tragedy cannot shatter.

This was a nice read; warm-hearted, poignant and occasionally funny. I found Bridget, the younger sister and the narrator of the story, to be very likable and realistic, but I never really warmed to her sister, the famous Meghan. I loved the prose - Quindlen's language washes over you in small, soft waves and makes reading very pleasant.

Although this isn't a particularly funny story (rather the opposite), I just wanted to share this passage which completely cracked me up, and also, I think, illustrates the crazy life of the rich and famous.

"Isn't she the one who was a call girl in L.A. and then married somebody really rich?" said Sam.

"I don't think so. I think she was somebody's assistant, then somebody's girlfriend. Then the wife of somebody."

"So she's not the one whose husband died in some weird accident and there were rumors that she or her trainer, I think, were involved?" I said.

"I know who you're talking about," Kate said. "That's somebody else."

"My God," said Sam," this conversation is surreal."
My rating: 4

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