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Book Review: The Gatecrasher by Madeline Wickham

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The Gatecrasher tells the story of Fleur Daxeny, who attends the funerals of London women, hoping to snare a grieving husband. The men find Fleur charming, witty, and beautiful. They offer her money, a home, and a country club lifestyle that she gracefully embraces. When she becomes bored, she begins to read the obituaries again in search of a new conquest.

Life with Richard Favour becomes comfortable, and once accepted into his home and family, Fleur finds it difficult to leave. She spots another gold digger vying for Richard’s attention. Will her past come back to haunt her, or will she finally find what she wanted all along?

Madeleine Wickham, also known as Sophie Kinsella, lives in England with her family. She is a former financial journalist who has become a best-selling author for her “Shopaholic” series as well as many other novels including: Cocktails for Three, Tennis Party, and Wedding Girl.

After having the book cover catch my eye, I was fascinated by the characters and Fleur’s scandalous actions; I had a difficult time putting down the book. Within 12 hours, the book was read, cover-to-cover in one sitting.

The vivid descriptions of the hats and clothing made it easy to visualize the character. It was enjoyable to read about how Fleur would go to great lengths to find a decent man with a boatload of money.

People can relate to Fleur because everyone knows someone just like her. Fleur thinks she will be satisfied with material things rather than love. It is not a deep-thinking book. It is an entertaining book, that is pleasurable to read, and it kept me interested. After reading the book, it made me appreciate the simplicity of my own life and friends. It must be exhausting to have Fleur’s lifestyle.

The book had a predictable, happy-ever-after ending, which part of me liked, but part of me thought Fleur didn’t deserve. And the quick wrap-up was a bit choppy. It left me thinking, “This is it?”  So The Gatecrasher reminded me of movies like Spiderman, She’s All That, and 10 Things I Hate About You. All these movies have conflict, but resolve happily and predictably.

This book is suitable for teenagers and older. There is a brief discussion of drugs, explicit language, and some sexual references. Other books that are similar in style include Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, and The Undomestic Goddess.

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About Kendal Tate

  • Mel

    Good review.

  • Love Reading

    Very bad language… didnt care for the ugly words!

  • Unputdownable

    I agree that the book was very readable and also agree with your review. I thought that Fleur Daxeny’s motivation was incomplete, something that drove the tension but completely lacked closure that could have perhaps been expanded on in a final chapter as the conclusion was far too abrupt.
    It seemed that this book might have been rushed. Emily’s name was miss-spelled twice (Eniily and Enilly) – something that I would have thought a final spellcheck would have picked up.