RSVP book review

Many dismiss glamour fiction as ‘Jackie Collins-esque’ and label it throwaway (at best)

Book review, Time In
Tara Moore

4/5
Orion

Many dismiss glamour fiction as ‘Jackie Collins-esque’ and label it throwaway (at best); Moore’s debut novel is a formidable opponent to that theory. Her lyrical writing – strong, well-paced and confident – weaves a tale of love, lust and betrayal that challenges traditional notions of the family and social dynamics. It feels more reminiscent of Judith Krantz’s Scruples – the original family saga glamour novel that spawned the genre back in the ’70s.

RSVP follows the peaks and troughs of the Granvilles, a close-knit, wealthy Irish family that has a penchant for secrets and manipulation. The head of the clan is the wizened and beady-eyed matriarch, Honoria, who deftly plays puppet master with the weaker members of her family to avenge past misdemeanours – of which there are many. Moore isn’t afraid to be bold, and tackles difficult subjects such as incest with sensitive skill.

Cleverly navigating the line between light-hearted commercial fiction and heavier, darker undertones, RSVP – which spans several generations and exotic locations – administers just the right dose of satisfying escapism without being forgettable. Therein lays the difference.

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