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Where Talent meets an audience…

After “Monday’s Child”…

on July 9, 2013

by Louise Bagshawe

Monday's Child

What starts of as an endless tale of self pity parties, binge eating (or if the term stress eating is more fashionable) and emptying endless bottles of champers, G&T and whisky, “Monday’s Child” is a refreshing take on the proverbial damsel in distress story. Here, the damsel is never the ‘Belle of the ball’ and the hero emerges, unlikely and unexpected, from the dark shadows of a coat closet. While the chances of a happy ending after a loveless engagement and scores of misconceptions is seemingly dim, Anna Brown, predictably, enjoys the ‘and they lived happily ever after’ ending.

Coming to the story in itself, the characters are detailed to a crisp perfection, right down to Anna’s flatmates’ gorgeous head of golden curls. Anna Brown, an ordinary reader (Script reader) for the Dolce wearing and Chanel toting Kitty Simpson at Winning is desperately unhappy with her devil of a boss. While co-readers John and Sharon are pleas of pathetically mundane and shallow excuses for humans, with John nursing a not-so-secret crush on his boss Kitty, and Sharon, well, just utilising her feminine charms to avoid being fired-by the skin of her teeth. Now the damsel is in distress-she’s trapped in a job where her boss finds her too valuable to promote-in comes the hero and colossal director, Mark Swan. While reclusive Mr. Director is a massive 6.4”, even for Anna’s 5.11” proportions, Anna is the refreshing breath of fresh air to the cataract of so called beautiful women just shoving themselves at his feet.

Lily Frutt (she calls herself Lily Venus-how original for a model!) and Janet Meeks (She insists on Jay-Me, what with her J-Lo obsession) are the gorgeous flatmates, both models, who only manage to worsen Anna’s plain Jane, sidekick complex. While Janet is warm and considerate, Lily’s tongue stings worse than a Russell’s viper.

The story takes a turn when Winning is taken over by Eli Roth, the rich and girls-drool-over-me handsome hotshot from Los Angeles. While Kitty’s office nemesis, Mike promotes Sharon, all so unjustly just to ensure her job security with the takeover of Winning by Eli Roth’s Red Crest , Kitty and Anna are faced with the daunting task of finding the next Oscar winning script as also producing Greta Gordon, the yesteryears diva who OD’d and is fresh from rehab and keen to make a comeback.

In shay-shays Vanna (short for Vanessa Cabot), Anna’s college best friend and absolute sweetheart with a Wall Street-type bore of a husband Rupert and two ‘gorgeous’ children. While they started off on the same path at College, Vanna’s life journey takes her the way of big bucks, high walled a-slice-of-country gardens and delicious chandeliers. In comes Charles Dawson, the talentless multi-millionaire and Vanna’s idea of the perfect match for Anna after her poor dating track record. While Charles never fancies Anna, as he so bluntly admits (She towers over him and well, it had to be her Gonzo nose, Anna laments), how the innocently sombre dates turn into a sudden engagement is a thoroughly engaging tale.  While Anna is oblivious of Charles’ millions, Charles believes he has found ‘the one’ because, “you are the first woman who didn’t know about my wealth and still wanted to be with me”. How heart-wrenching! And the plot thickens when Charles introduces Anna to Trish Evans, the Nanny to his sister’s children and the scriptwriter of Mother of the Bride.

Well, Louise Bagshawe isn’t done with the plot yet. She cleverly intertwines Anna’s desperate want to be loved romantically by someone, with Charles want of a companion who isn’t after his money. While Anna manages to snag Mark Swan to direct the film, she is now faced with new predicaments- Her loveless relationship with Charles, the fear of breaking his poor heart, her racing mind that can’t get over Mark Swan and her career. Mark tries his best to help Anna zero in on the job she would like instead of fitting herself in a job she didn’t love (producing Mother of the Bride-the Oscar potential script).

What follows is an un-put-down-able read that makes the 437 page novel seem like a quickly ending children’s story book. It makes you cheer on the heroine and sympathize with her on many levels- her lack of self esteem living in a flat with two very beautiful girls, her amazement at being engaged to one of the richest men in England and her talented yet workaholic nature. While Anna clothes herself in garments that she hopes will make her invisible to the crowd (and how common is that emotion?), she fails to see the beauty she does possess, and I don’t mean her inner beauty. While she is all heart and caring towards Lily and Janet with respect to the men they love, Henry and Ed, she is quite comfortable being the not-so-pretty sidekick instead of the pretty one who tosses her hair for dramatic effect in an argument she knows she is losing.

All in all, an entirely gripping story and a never to be bored, page turner of a novel. Hats off to Ms Bagshawe for this wonderful piece. A definite recommendation for the romantic, faint-hearted. Highly addictive. Looking for a sequel somewhere…

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