Given the choice between a life of luxury, married to money, or a career, what would you choose? In Louise Bagshawe’s latest novel Destiny, Kate Fox has spent her entire life working hard to get the life of idle luxury offered by marrying a multimillionaire. Her mother’s advice has always been, to cultivate great beauty but apply herself to study as a fallback position. So when Kate scores a safe, unexciting role as contributing editor at Cutie magazine, she uses it as her jumping-off point to scout Manhattan for marriage candidates.
As she goes from the arm of one rich young thing to another, her best friend Emily is securing her own future by running her very own magazine, Lucky. Worlds apart from Cutie and Kate’s glitzy lifestyle, Emily is also the opposite to Kate in image – but they both happen to have a work ethic in common. So when Kate finally sets her sights on Manhattan’s most eligible, and most rich, and most-recently-divorced multimillionaire, Marcus Broder, Emily has strong feelings against him. Still, what Kate wants, she gets, until she realises that what she wants isn’t what she really wanted after all.
Marcus, it turns out, loves the “trophy” part of trophy wife. He wants Kate on a pedestal, away from all her working-class background. After all, she doesn’t need the money any more, so why work? But you don’t divorce Marcus Broder. Not if you want to keep living in Manhattan. But is Kate’s destiny really about being kept on a shiny penthouse pedestal? Or is it about finding something that she can believe in, and that can cause heartbreak but also great joy and fulfillment.
I found this novel to be a fun ride into Manhattan’s wealthiest apartments and parties. The glitz of the parties and the drama of life at the top is so well described that you can see it. And at the bottom of it all, is a chance for everyday working women like you and me to see if we too could try to fit into that world, and whether that destiny is really all a girl could want.
Available now: Hachette RRP$19.95