Plume, Feb 2009, $15.00
The three young girls meet at a posh Beverly Hills high school because they are the outsiders; undesirables not good enough to mingle with the rest of the affluent student body. Thus Texan Sally Lassiter, Englishwoman Jane Morgan and Jordanian Helen Yanna form their own pact to help each other survive the bullying barracudas and harassing sharks. However, finances force Sally and Jane to drop out and Helen is packed off in marriage to live in the Middle East.
Over the next few years separately all three obtain business success with Sally a designer, Jane a corporate officer, and Haya (formerly Helen) an international carpet seller. A decade later, the trio meets in Los Angeles; where they concoct a concept to combine their skills to open up a luxurious shop GLAMOUR. While the store is extremely successful, the partners never recapture the level of friendship they had as teens and drift in separate directions while taking potshots at one another.
The obvious homage to Sex and the City is throughout this intriguing character study, but Louise Bagshawe puts her own spin on affluence and trysts. The three prime players contain differing personalities. As teens they need to bond with someone in similar dire straits, but as late twenties with professional success, they no longer need one another. Although there are some cul de sac scenes that feel like padding, fans of women’s modern fiction will enjoy following the exploits of three women in Los Angeles.