West bEgg follows four characters and their bosses who are part of the powerful elite class of society. This is an intriguing setup to a novel that is high in social commentary. What was your goal when writing this novel?
West bEgg is a novel that came to life in pieces over the last decade when four very different friends in distant corners of the world related to me stories and complaints from their bosses which seemed farcical, as if reality had really outdone itself. At the time I only listened and laughed in disbelief, although I was also saddened that my friends, all of whom have thankfully moved on since then, rarely felt they could do much about their situation. Some time later, I read an article in The Economist suggesting that the current power elites are more talented, harder working and better educated (though in fairness it said ‘better schooled’) than in the past and it made me think back to and connect my friends’ tales together, only because I realised they told of a moment in time they had lived through in their careers that was especial, of a world particular in its madness and definitely worth recording (fictionalised of course!) to confront mankind with it.
What were some themes that you felt were important to highlight in this story?
I’ve always been astounded by how power influences people, how quickly they grow with it into strange eccentric beings, as well as how they rush to bow to it surrendering their own identities.
I loved the stark contrast between the characters and their bosses. What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?
On the side of the powerful I wanted to explore how they become increasingly distanced from reality, as well as the relationship between power and sex. On the side of the victims, I needed to dwell on the usual monsters: standing up for oneself, remaining aware of what has real value, fighting fear, loneliness and humiliation and keeping a dream.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
‘After an accident leaves her in a coma, he sits on a hospital chair day-in day-out singing to her. Nobody can pull him away from her as she threads through the dreams that could save her. Meanwhile, a delusional nurse grows her admiration for him into obsessive desire.’ ROOM 11 is a dual narrative by strong, cynical, broken heroines (a nurse and her patient) winding through tenderness, passion, sacrifice, rage, guilt and eventually forgiveness, to help them re-emerge from their separate tragedies. It will be available March 10.
“Luca is a punch bag, a tea towel, a toilet bowl, to Macco One, the undeniable and unbreakable King of Egg Power, proud of averaging over a hundred flights a year to visit chicken markets around the world. Anna moved to Catania to work for Madame Sicily fulfilling varied tasks from picking up Céline swimwear before it hits the runways, to recovering badly parked Lamborghinis. La Revolução dreams through buildings but builds parking spaces, when she is not helping launder money for her boss’s dad’s dodgy charities. And finally Carolina is out to conspire with Paquita who met her boss, the German, in a red lit booth, to understand why the man has to drain the passion out of everything. Their fates will collide at the preposterous Fanta party, but the question is whether their bosses will get what they deserve?
West bEgg is a novel about the behaviour of the power elite who are often still arrogant and uneducated, ridiculously flamboyant, obscene, sex-obsessed, full of entitlement, afraid of rejection and unfortunately indestructible.”
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Exit Five from Charing Cross, written by Valerie Keogh revolves around the life of a successful investment banker, Jake Mitchell. Starting his life again at Oxford, Jake meets Adam and they instantly hit it off, becoming best friends quickly. When Jane enters the picture, a depressing love triangle emerges as Jake becomes the outer person staring longingly into a blossoming relationship.
However soon Jake seemingly has it all- the money, the career and eventually a wife and children. But this all changes when he meets the elusive Joyce, a beautiful woman eating a pastry in a train station. Torn between his emotions, Jake makes decisions that will change his life in the most shocking way possible.
Exit Five from Charing Cross is a beautifully written mystery novel that takes the reader on a journey through the life of a successful businessman, Jake Mitchell. Working at a company Sebastian et Sebastian, a firm that only entertains the seriously wealthy, Jake soon rises up in the ranks of the rich, buying into a lifestyle only a few of us will ever indulge in. The riches, the food and the extraordinary homes will leave the reader in awe and at times a little jealous of the extravagant riches that he can afford.
Romance and acceptance are the undertones for this book that will develop into a twist that will shock you to your very core. The start is a little slow but the reader will soon realise that this is the foundations of a story that you will be eager to recommend to every person you meet. My favourite character is Ann, a beautiful woman who attracts the eye of every person when entering a room. She is classy with a touch of sexiness and demands attention and admiration, and manipulate situations to suit her every desire. Is she all that she portrays or is there is something more underneath the silky designer dresses that she adorns so carefully?
Valerie Keogh can paint a picture beautifully with her words and between luxury dinners and divine champagne, the reader is easily transported to the majestic home located in Notting Hill. I found myself imagining what my own home would look like if I had eternal riches on demand and the very best designer at my fingertips. The story isn’t always glamourous though and you quickly learn that riches cannot always buy what we all innately desire- love. Jakes desperation to be loved by his best friends wife and then eventually settling at second best leads to questionable decisions that develop into choices that will leave you hungry for more.
Indulge in a side of a lobster and a glass of champagne when you curl up to read this mystery novel as you will find yourself craving a touch of luxury for yourself! I would recommend Exit Five from Charing Cross to anyone who enjoys a mystery novel with a dash of romance and a plot twist that will leave your mind reeling for days. What could possibly happen to a man who seemingly has it all? You will have to read it to find out!
Pages: 285 | ASIN: B00QPCNB80
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West bEgg: the world’s new power elite centers on the narrative of four main characters; Luca, Anna, Carolina, and La Revolução. The first three characters are assistants working for demanding, ruthless, and utterly annoying bosses, while La Revolução is an architect who works under her own annoying boss as well as beside his self-righteous daughter. The main theme that connects these characters is that they all seem to hate their jobs, and the daily tasks that they are given. All characters and their bosses are brought together at The Fanta Party where, despite endless preparation, disaster strikes out of the blue.
Mari.Reiza does a beautiful job of crafting each character for the reader. While they are all united in their disdain for their bosses and perhaps even depression at their personal lives, the characters are in fact, completely different individuals. Luca knows he is a punching bag and keeps this mantra rolling on repeat throughout the short novel. Anna would never imagine standing up to her boss, and goes out of her way to make sure that everything is perfect, while Carolina is perfectly okay with getting on her boss’ nerves, yet cries to anyone that will listen about how terrible he is. And then we have La Revolução, who seems to be the most interesting out of all these characters. She is not an assistant, but she is tasked with working with Irajá, the boss’ spoiled daughter, who is more trouble than she is worth. In a way, La Revolução is an assistant to Irajá, but her ultimate concern seems to be with ‘living the dream’. This could be acquainted to actually making a difference with her life’s work, rather than building parking lots or destroying properties that act as safe houses for abused women.
Each of the characters’ stories are told through their own point of view in each chapter. The reader will read about Luca’s experience of tending to his boss’ needs, then the next chapter might switch to Carolina crying on the shoulder of a sympathetic listener. The author does a great job of leading the reader up to the moment of The Fanta Party, where all of these characters will meet. However, this is where it falls flat for the reader. As carefully planned as it might have seemed, the party meets with disaster and we find the assistants running around trying to piece everything back to together like always. It seems that the misdoings of each boss has come back to wreak havoc on this party, and the assistants are the ones left to clean up the mess. It’s all very rushed through. I felt that much of the novel detailed the daily workings of each character, only to rush onto the climax of the story and not spend enough time fleshing out what I thought was the most interesting part of the novel. This novel should definitely be applauded for the difficult positions in which it places its characters, but overall, more details and a greater climax would have been welcomed.
I loved the detailed character descriptions and the authors grasp of nuance in character development. West bEgg is a fascinating piece of fiction that colorfully reveals the lives of the upper class.
Pages: 150 | ASIN: B01N4MSUKV
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