Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rise and Shine, by Anna Quindlen

This book had all of the plot lines, twists, and turns of a very bad Lifetime Original Movie. It was very quick to read, but very far-fetched. Then again, I probably just wanted to get it done as soon as possible.

Meghan Fitzmaurice is the successful host of Rise and Shine, the most popular show on daytime television. She is one of those stereotypical women-who-has-it-all: successful career, spacious New York apartment, rich, successful husband, son in an Ivy League school.

By contrast, Meghan's younger sister, Bridget, works in a battered-woman's shelter as a social worker. She, too, has a successful career, and is dating a man that she loves, but can't escape the feeling that she's living in Meghan's shadow.

Meghan's seemingly perfect world crumbles one day as she, on live TV, mutters a profanity, which is then broadcast uncensored. She doesn't realize that the mike is on.

And so begins the downfall of the host of Rise and Shine. Prior to this incident, her husband, Evan, announces that he is leaving her, but doesn't give a specific reason. He moves out of the apartment that he shares with Meghan, and eventually, Meghan moves out herself, and runs away to Jamaica for an extended vacation. Evan goes to Tokyo. Their son, Leo, is in Spain and has no idea what's going on--even though his mother is on the cover of every tabloid known to man.

Meanwhile, Bridget remains in New York, trying to clean up the mess and figuring out how to tell her nephew all that has happened. She becomes the messenger gal for Meghan, Evan, Leo, and network executives. Talk about being caught in the middle. Meanwhile, she's trying to juggle her own set of issues, starting with her boyfriend, Irving, a cop twenty-three years her senior, as well as the lives of her clients at the shelter.

Sometimes I get comments from readers about the "Currently Reading" buttons in the sidebar. These comments range from, "I'm so excited that you're reading this!" to "I hated that book!" Rise and Shine falls in the latter range of this spectrum. It is not particularly memorable, nor is it particularly well-written. I'm really glad that I borrowed this book from the library; if I had bought it I would have asked for my money back.

This is the latest entry in my 2009 100+ Reading Challenge, my 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge, as well as my 2009 A to Z Challenge. As always, click on the buttons in the sidebar for all of the archived lists!


Improbable Joe said...

I can't read this sort of book for a major reason, beyond my possession of testicles:

"Meghan's seemingly perfect world crumbles..." Look, when you have the wherewithal to jet off to Jamaica and Tokyo, your life has crumbled in the same way that a scratch in your BMW's paint means the car is totaled. It is hard to the point of impossibility to have sympathy for the wealthiest 0.5% when they have a bad day, because when it is all said and done they still have their summer homes and fancy cars.

Kitten said...

Joe: That's another reason why I hated this book.

septembermom said...

I agree that I would find much sympathy for these characters. Glad that you only borrowed it from the library. Still a well written review Kitten :)

blueviolet said...

Asking for your money back...that's the clincher for me. It's a no go.

Mel said...

Yep, that's what I think: it was totally unmemorable. I remember I read it and that's about all.

Jenners said...

I didn't like this one either! Was I one of the ones who told you that? I think I did! I think Ms. Quindlen is not writing as well as she used to.