Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Revenge Wears Prada Review
Oh man... this book. I first read The Devil Wears Prada after college when I was working at Soap Opera Digest. I couldn't quite relate to Andy even though I was working at a magazine. We certainly had pages of the magazine go around that was like "the book" from the novel but my boss, who granted a bit high strung, was mostly fine - nothing like Miranda Priestly. I remember reading The Devil Wears Prada and being vaguely entertained but frankly I remember the movie more than the novel and even that I haven't seen in a super long time. But still, I wanted to read this and thought it would be an easy read while I was going through the craziness of the end of the year and packing up my apartment to move to Philadelphia.
Ok, beware, SPOILERS to follow - including about the end of the book so read at your own risk.
Revenge Wears Prada picks up ten years after The Devil Wears Prada ended. Andy is successful both personally and professionally. As the novel opens, she is preparing to marry the very wealthy Max Harrison, scion of a wealthy NYC society family. During the wedding day preparations, she flashes back to her life since leaving Runway. Her parents got divorced, Lily (her college best friend/alcoholic) moved out to Colorado where she married a yoga teacher and had a baby and Alex (her boyfriend) did Teach for America and now apparently has a serious girlfriend. Oddly enough, Andy and Emily (Miranda's senior assistant at Runway) now are best friends after bonding at a cooking class a year or so after Andy screamed at Miranda in Paris and quit the magazine. Emily ended up being fired right before she was due to be promoted. Both women still worked in the industry, more or less. Andy wrote for a wedding blog, while Emily worked at Harper's Bazaar, until Emily had the idea that they should launch a high end wedding magazine together. Andy resisted at first but they ended up being able to get funding (mostly due to Max Harrison's money. Andy and Max first met at a party Emily threw to attract financiers) and launched the magazine, which three years later was doing quite well as the story opens.
Andy get married, with a bit of trepidation, after finding a note from her mother-in-law before the ceremony pleading with her son not to marry his fiance. The note also mentions that Max ran into his ex at his bachelor's party in Bermuda. Of course Andy doesn't confront Max with any of this for weeks. She also is feeling miserably sick. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Andy accidentally got pregnant a bit before the wedding. The story moves fairly quickly through a year, during which time Andy has a daughter (Clementine) and continues to work on her magazine.
The magazine, The Plunge, is doing well enough that it has attracted the interest of Elias-Clarke, the publishing company that owns Runway. This bring Miranda Priestly back onto the scene, which of course freaks Andy out. Miranda begins seriously courting Emily and Andy. The girls had agreed not to sell for five full years but the money that they would get for selling would be substantial and they would only have to stay on the staff for a full year. However, of course, that was the deal in the first novel - work at Runway for a year and Miranda would help you transition into any magazine you wished. But Andy already couldn't hack a year under Miranda and definitely knew she would not be able to attempt another try. Emily, however, is chomping at the bit, as is Max, whose own company is struggling financially.
Andy manages to delay the decision throughout her pregnancy and maternity leave. Miranda randomly is obsessed with babies and gives her a decadent gift. And then behind Andy's back, Emily and Max sign over the magazine to Elias-Clarke (Max owned 18% of The Plunge so he was able to sign along with Emily). Andy, of course, is furious and kicks Max out of their apartment and refuses to talk to Emily. This is basically the end of the book, except for a coda that takes place a year and a half later. Randomly in the novel, Andy runs into Alex, her ex, and sparks fly. But of course she is married and newly a mother. She goes to this new mommies group where she meets a young woman, the aunt to one of the babies, who has an affair with a young photography student, cheating on her boyfriend, Xander. Before the magazine sale debacle, Andy learns that Xander is actually Alex. So a year and a half later, Andy is doing some free lance writing and Alex shows up and they kiss and decide to move forward with their own relationship.
So basically everyone ends up where they started. Emily was fired not long after the sale of The Plunge, Andy divorced her husband and Miranda got the magazine. I guess that was the revenge of the title. Miranda constantly treated Andy as if she didn't know her although at one moment she looked at her with extreme hatred, so I guess that meant that Miranda wanted revenge from when Andy screamed at her in Paris ten years ago. Or something. Honestly, I'm unclear. Miranda really wasn't in the book that much and it focused just as much on Andy's personal life as the magazine. Actually, I think there was more about her personal life than there was about her career. First off, she was stupid for denying the obvious signs of her pregnancy, then I'm not really sure why she married Max and all of a sudden Alex shows up out of nowhere and is her soulmate?
Whatever. This book was annoying. I guess if you loved the first one, you'll enjoy this. I wasn't impressed. That's all.
Interview with the author
Washington Post Review
11 Most Cringeworthy Moments
Buy it at amazon and Barnes & Noble