About Me

Ithaca, New York
MWF, now officially 42, loves long walks on the beach and laughing with friends ... oh, wait. By day, I'm a mid-level university administrator reluctant to be more specific on a public forum. Nights and weekends, though, I'm a homebody with strong nerdist leanings. I'm never happier than when I'm chatting around the fire, playing board games, cooking up some pasta, and/or road-tripping with my family and friends. I studied psychology and then labor economics in school, and I work in higher education. From time to time I get smug, obsessive, or just plain boring about some combination of these topics, especially when inequality, parenting, or consumer culture are involved. You have been warned.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

#10 - Three Girls and Their Brother

Yep, I'm just gonna put that out there. "My name is Hazelthyme, and I like to read fluff now and then." There it is, deal with it. (Sheesh, can you tell I hang out with 9 year olds fairly often?)

Anyway, Three Girls and Their Brother (Theresa Rebeck) is pretty much a WYSIWYG book, not serious literature, but entertaining, complete with a warm, fuzzy, feel-good ending. The title characters are 3 attractive but unknown teenagers from Brooklyn who, for no reason other than their striking red hair and their tenuous "literary legacy" (a late grandfather who was a well-known author and critic in his day), are photographed for a high-profile feature in The New Yorker. Daria, 18, is the most determined to succeed as a model, and even a little desparate; after all, in the modeling world, 18 is old. Baby sister Amelia, 14, frankly isn't all that interested, and would rather just go back to her normal high school life, but is dragged along cussing and screaming by her elder sisters and their mother -- a former Miss Tennessee who wants nothing more than to live vicariously through her daughters' youth, beauty, and success.

Things really take a turn for the surreal when the sisters, poised on the edge of stardom, are invited to a private party with Rex Wentworth, a 40-something mega-star with an (until now) hidden penchant for very young girls. He gets a little too friendly with Amelia, who lashes out and ends up biting him in her attempt to fend off his advances, and before they know it, the story is all over the media, and the media all over the girls. Their mother and the girls' agent, the ever-present and perhaps not completely above-board Colette, coerce Amelia into a public apology, which only feeds the media frenzy. When Philip, the girls' 16 year old brother, tries to protect Amelia and egg her on in her snark and eye-rolling, Mom and Colette ship him off to live with Dad and stepmom, and do their best to limit his contact with his sisters. Amelia's fame lands her a role in an off-Broadway play, and though she's not much of an actress, she finds herself much happier and more at home in the theater than in the modeling world. Eventually, seeing how badly Philip's been treated and how vulnerable Amelia is, middle sister Polly, 17, realizes it's up to her to get her feet back on the ground and keep her family intact.

Like I said, pretty much what I'd expected. Not high literature, and doesn't pretend to be ... but still a fun lazy afternoon. 2.5 out of 5 bookmarks.

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