All In Monte Carlo by Anna Shilling
Four women, four ways to revenge…
A Monaco insider reveals what life is like in the world's richest and most secretive enclave, where revenge is best served with a glass of champagne.
Wedged between Southern France and the Mediterranean Sea, the miniature principality of Monaco is a place for aspiration, for comic extremes and for outrageous personalities. Where a businesswoman gets her favourite Chanel suit flown in by private jet. Where Hôtel de Paris serves breakfast to a drunken socialite in a prison cell. Where two Gucci-clad women are behind a string of burglaries.
Against a backdrop of cocktails on superyachts, looking fabulous and feeling empty, this tongue-in-cheek tale revolves around four relatable women who meet by chance in Monte Carlo. After sharing their tales of betrayal, they set up a book club as a cover while they settle each other’s scores. But revenge, like life, doesn’t always go to plan…
The book cover has been designed by one of the UK’s leading illustrators, Patrick Knowles. Knowles is best known for his cover designs for Julian Fellowes and Anthony Horowitz, as well as for Prince William and Kate’s wedding calligraphy.
As they live their extraordinary lives in Monte Carlo, four women from different backgrounds, Abigail, Barbara, Lucinda and Polina, meet by chance and form an unlikely friendship. They are a mixed group, one at the top of her game, one with ambitions to win a full Monte Carlo lifestyle, whatever it takes, and one who is more down to earth. Getting to know each other, they share their woes and soon realise they all know someone who needs to learn a lesson. Under the guise of meeting for a book club, they plot their revenge.
The first thing I realised as I started reading was that my rural French village life is a world away from anything Monte Carlo has to offer. The designer names that pepper the storyline went way over my head and the extravagances left me in a cold sweat, so it would be fair to say I struggled a little with this book to begin with. It’s redeeming feature was that it is based on real experiences from four women who have lived life there to the full. Their tales are far-fetched and extreme, but I guess that is what makes life in the Principality so unique, and it certainly kept me turning the pages.
To enable their plans to come to fruition, their various talents are used to best effect, and the results are very Monte Carlo! I shall say no more, but I certainly wouldn’t want to upset any of them. If you are looking for a book to take you away from the mundane life that most of us lead, take a peek into the Monte Carlo world, from the safety of the pages of this book.
Anna Shilling is the collective pen name for four women who lived in Monte Carlo. A magazine editor, an aristocrat, an UHNW businesswoman and a private banker formed a book club and shared funny, shocking tales together about life in the principality. The magazine editor wove a fictional plot from their tales into this novel.
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