May 13, 2010

Nancy's Theory of Style - Book Review

Many of you may know Marta Acosta as the author of the fabulous Casa Dracula series. Recently she branched away from the paranormal to write a wry, witty, romance about Nancy Carrington-Chambers, a fastidious socialite with a heart of gold.

Nancy's Theory of Style
by Grace Coopersmith (aka Marta Acosta)
Pocket, May 18, 2010

Recently wed Nancy is furious with her husband over his revised plans of the house they built. It is huge and hideous. Worse she has to share it with hubby Todd who no longer seemed a suave prince charming, but more like an uncouth barbarian. Nancy has spent her entire life doing things right - went to the right schools, befriended the right people, read the right books, joined the right clubs, and married the right man, or so she thought at the time.

The bloom is off the rose it appears. One day it occurs to her that she need not stay in the house from hell a moment longer. She has access to a lovely apartment in San Francisco. What a perfect place to be young, beautiful, rich and owner of a new event planning business whimsically named Froth. The separation from Todd is only temporary she tells herself and him. Meanwhile she will concentrate her time on building the business and meeting friends for lunch.

For starters Nancy needs an assistant, one who notices small details and thinks as creatively as she does. She finds him! Derek, her new assistant, is everything she has ever dreamed of - handsome, well-spoken, British and gay. Like Nancy he has an enviable sense of fashion. Could life be any better than this?

Our heroine is not as superficial as she first seems. One of her closest pals is PG, a geeky, awkward fellow with no "connections" to the upper class, her best friend Mil has a very down to earth approach to life and doesn't mince words with anyone. As we get to know Nancy's "prominent" family we realize that throughout her life Nancy has graciously put up with a lot of crap. Her mother is usually zonked out on some substance, but Nancy's response is love and tenderness. Then there is cousin Birdie, a beautiful woman who spends her time running around the globe with whichever sexy artist currently strikes her fancy. Birdie's preschool daughter can be a drag on such a high spirited life style, so one day she stops by and asks Nancy to watch little Eugenia for an hour. Birdie doesn't return.

Now, much to her horror, Nancy has a child to care for, although she is quite careful never to let Eugenia know of her reluctance. Gradually Nancy's playful and nurturing side emerges with the little one around. Surprisingly Derek takes to Eugenia as well.

There are plenty of quirky characters and humorous situations in the humorous, charming novel. All interact to give Nancy the lessons she needs to get beyond her need for perfection and control. Once you get to know her, Nancy is quite endearing.

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