Three Girls and Their Brother
Shaye Areheart (Crown), Apr 2008, $23.95
Claiming as a way to pay homage to the late great literary critic Leo Heller, the New Yorker magazine wants to do a piece on his three granddaughters and grandson. Their mom has the brain of a lifetime beauty queen who though has seen her prettier days still lives the glory through her daughters; she sees this as good publicity and the road to Hollywood. Their dad has not been around in ages so his opinion if he even has one does not matter.
The oldest eighteen year old Daria is rapturous as she sees this as her chance to become a supermodel. The middle daughter seventeen year old Polly is almost as elated. The youngest female fourteen year old Amelia is at best tepid as she does not mind the magazine piece as long as it does not greatly intrude on her lifestyle. The only male fifteen year old Philip does not trust the New Yorker as he believes they are being set up for an exposure worthy of the tabloids. However, mommy dearest ignores the concerns of her only son saying he is too male and too young to understand the opportunities for his sisters; she will do anything to get her daughters on Broadway or Southern California.
This is an amusing look at fame from four teens receiving fifteen minutes of it each. Especially enlightening is the insightful comparisons made by the youngest sibling as Amelia observes voluntary starvation as a norm of some vocations. Philip seems older than he is with his wisdom honed by survival skills as the lone bull; his observations re his mom and two older sisters are priceless. The other three females seem amusingly inane as all they can see is fame and fortune. Although a revenge subplot seems ridiculous as it deters from an otherwise superb family drama, fans will enjoy this powerful lampooning of the fame seekers.