In this novel, Emma, a shy, retiring, bookish sort is plodding along in her career as a journalist at a women’s magazine. She is living her life through her literary icons, inserting lines from Shakespeare, Jane Eyre, and Alice in Wonderland, as she goes about her daily life. Although this affectation is meant to give the appearance of being very isolated and lonely, sheltered from the world by her books, but it really makes her sound quite insane, more than anything. Emma finds herself offered a plum assignment reporting on the underground world of the gentlemen’s clubs in London. Initially struggling, she finds her groove and becomes drawn into the game of money, power and ambition.
Emma’s father, Jack Gordon, is a seriously rich man. He’s important in the world of mergers and acquisitions and he spends much of his time entertaining clients in London’s top gentleman’s club – Platinum. He is used to women falling at his feet and used to being in control. He pines for Emma’s mother Imogene, and has never really dealt with the dissolution of their marriage.
You know from the very first that Emma and her father are on a collision course. Chapter one gives you a snapshot of Jack’s view of the club as he discovers Emma dancing there. The story then goes back to how they got to that point and then the resolution of the novel.
Perhaps it’s the style of writing that left me unsatisfied. I found the story to be enjoyable enough, but there didn’t seem to be enough character exploration. I couldn’t seem to grasp why the characters were doing what they were doing – there were so many extraneous details that had me re-reading the passage trying to make sense of what was going on, trying to get a snapshot of the character itself.
As I was reading, I thought to myself it seemed to be written in an almost ‘stream-of-consciousness’ format where the story was spilled out on to a page and then left unedited. Perhaps what I was thinking of was a lack of polish, however. There are so many characters, introduced, named and then serve no purpose. There are so many plotlines introduced then dropped. So many seemingly significant plot moments which seem to fizzle that it becomes a bit frustrating. Rather like riding down a gravel road – you get tired of bouncing around for no reason.
Having said that, however, I did devour this book. I did enjoy it – I loved the beginning of the story of what was happening in the club – I would have loved to see that story developing more.