Cape Times

‘Sex and the City’ writer’s latest more than pink champagne, fancy parties

- REVIEW: Francesca Villette

KILLING MONICA Candace Bushnell, R317

Pandy Publishers FINDING oneself sometimes requires breaking free from routine and letting go of old habits – habits that tend to die even harder when people closest to you don’t see the need for you to change.

Many of us have lived vicariousl­y through others, be it your child, neighbour or a best friend who seems to have it all.

From the author of Sex and the City, Lipstick Jungle, and The Carrie Diaries comes a story about fame, love and foolishnes­s by Candace Bushnell, who needs to kill her child star Monica, and in so doing, goes on a journey of self-discovery.

The perfectly silhouette­d lady on the pink and white cover gives the illusion that the contents of the book won’t have much depth. But there is much more to it. The main character, Pandy “PJ” Wallis, is a respected writer whose novels about a young woman making her way in Manhattan have successful­ly published a series of blockbuste­r films.

Everyone know’s Monica. She sips pink champagne for breakfast and gets invited to the most exquisite parties in New York.

Her perfect smile is plastered on billboards. She has the longest legs and silkiest hair. Life never seems to get her down and she has it all. Everyone wants to be Monica.

Characters in the book often compare Pandy to Monica, often saying Pandy is Monica.

Pandy on several occasions dismisses this and says she is not Monica.

After the success of the Monica books and movies, Pandy wants to attempt something different and she decides on a novel based on her ancestor Lady Wallis, and along the way stumbles upon many obstacles.

Pandy’s publishers and audience only want more Mon- ica. They are opposed to change, which is another obstacle for Pandy. Her husband, Jonny, is one of those people who wants to keep the sensation of Monica alive.

Pandy’s ex-best friend and former partner in crime Sondra Beth Schnowzer plays Monica on the big screen.

When Pandy’s marriage crumbles and the boathouse of her family home in Connecticu­t goes up in flames, Pandy realises she has an opportunit­y to reinvent herself, but she will have to reconcile with Schnowzer. It becomes the turning point in the book.

The book is a great read for anyone struggling to make changes in their lives and has it compounded by a lack of support from the ones you might rely on the most.

Pandy takes every woman on an adventure of self-discovery and emancipati­on from a stereotype that they might struggle to break free from. Does she finish the book? Does Pandy break free from the role of Monica that she has come to know and get some time? That you will have to find out yourself.

Born in Glastonbur­y, Connecticu­t, Bushnell is an author and television star.

She worked as a freelance journalist for various publicatio­ns and had a column in the The New York Observer for two years.

Bushnell’s best-seller, Sex and the City, is a collection that was first published in 1997, and republishe­d in 2001, 2006, and in 2008. It went on to be a sellout at movie theatres around the world.

In Killing Monica, Bushnell did not deter from the glamour and luxury writing she is renowned for, but the book is more than pink champagne and cocktail parties.

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