Andrew Collins wants what we all want: easy money, an alternative to a lifetime spent in an office. After a few years in London selling ad space for a newspaper, he realises that he might never get off the salary treadmill if he's not careful. What is the point of spending his youth working for a pittance when there's so much else on offer out there? So he finds himself a Sugar Mummy: Marion is beautiful, exotic, older and, of course, very, very rich. Suddenly Andrew is catapulted into a world of Sloane Street shopping, expensive cars, Rolex watches and Perrier Jouet on tap. Best of all, he doesn't have to pay for any of it. But Andrew finds that Marion, along with some of her bizarre and often sinister friends, seems to be taking him for a ride ' and it's a rather bumpy one. Perhaps there's a reason why these people are rich and he isn't. And there's Jane. A cardigan and tee-shirt-wearing shop assistant and unimpressed by wealth, Jane is everything Andrew despises. But she has got under his skin and much as he wants all that Marion can offer, he also wants Jane. Can he have his cake and eat it? Or will Marion eat him first?
- Paperback | 352 pages
- 132 x 198mm
- Orion Publishing Co
- London, United Kingdom
After a few years selling ad space Andrew Collins is looking for an alternative to a lifetime spent in an office. So he finds himself a Sugar Mummy: Marion is older, beautiful and very, very rich. Yet Andrews feels he is being taken for a bumpy ride - especially after he meets shop assistant Jane who is unimpressed by wealth.a darkly comic debut novel of modern morality.
Handsome and dissolute young Brit seeks Sugar Mommy. Oddly enough, selling ad space at a London daily may not be the life of glamour one would expect, but Andrew Collins is doing just that-and feeling about to go mad. He's got a lazy, perennially gassy roommate who's like a growth on the sofa and a bitter, power-mad boss itching for ways to make Andrew's life hell. Deciding to change his station-or at least his bank account-Andrew goes to work for Jonathan, who runs an escort service for women seeking male companionship. Soon, he's a permanent fixture on the arm of an extremely wealthy and quite bored older American woman by the name of Marion. At first, Jonathan merely accompanies her to dinner at restaurants that would have taken a year of his own salary, but eventually he's sleeping with her, then deciding whether to accept her offer to leave his rundown, smelly flat and move in with her. As anybody who's flipped through a Jackie Collins novel can tell you, money (especially someone else's) doesn't buy happiness, just lots of stuff you feel embarrassed wearing. As for Andrew, he's not the smartest of lads and is taken by surprise when Marion turns out to be (gasp!) mean, vindictive, and manipulative. This fact seems also to have taken first-novelist Brooke by surprise, since he turns what should have been a breezy, 200-page quick read into a padded-feeling omnibus of snooze wherein Andrew flits from one faux moral crisis to another. It's all capped off with the requisite Sunset Boulevard-style dilemma in which Andrew must choose between the evil old hag (financial security) and the young, funny girl of his dreams (morally righteous poverty). Somewhere in the mix is a tale of lost youth scrambling to keep an individual identity in a capitalist nightmare-but Brooke's done his best to bury it. Overlong, windy nonsense. (Kirkus Reviews)
About Simon Brooke
Simon Brooke is a journalist and has written for THE TELEGRAPH, THE TIMES and THE INDEPENDENT among others. He lives in Chiswick, West London and this is his first novel.