Vogel House by John Forrester
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lady Mary Crawley never had to work this hard to keep Downton. Clarise, our heroine, is the lynchpin in saving the 27 bedroom manse, Vogel House & the future of the family. Phillip, her older brother is far to drugged & sexed to help, her father is weak & inept & her mother has problems of her own, like the threat of dealing with unpleasantness. This is my kind of pool side froth. On the up side, it's told in vivid prose & moves at a decent pace (it's not a long book). I admit that I did lose track of some of the side characters (especially the orgy girls; too many French names from Giselle in the beginning to Therese & Miette, I just blanked out on who was with whom when all that really mattered was Clarise wasn't with Keary or Phillip (cause that'd have been way wrong even for their inappropriate sibling chemisty).
My favorite part of the story was when the Chambers family need to cut their vacation short as the financial situation becomes frantic & go through the ordeal of their first commercial flight experience. I found Clarise's observations & voice perfect & agree with her that it's wholly dehumanizing. Anyway, that moment of highlight carried me through as the mystery of Vogel House & the undoing of the family unfurls but quickly lost me when Howard decides to kidnap Phillip & threaten his life & only Clarise can handle it (& deal with the Russian mob). I admit, it's her age that broke it for me. She's fifteen & while capable enough as a teenager, she is still very much one in thought & deed until that point in the story. If she'd been a little older, I would've gone with it. Still, it was a decent read. More than a little over the top racy though I didn't find it sexy (not a YA read, folks & can probably widen the eye of more than a couple adults) but definitely a page turner.
I've no idea who I would recommend this to & I'm not really sure how I'd classify it by genre either. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either.
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