Book review

Author Vanessa Raphaely. Picture: Catherine Mac

Plus One

Vanessa Raphaely

Pan MacMillan

Review: Karen Watkins

This gripping story is pure escapism, taking you from the realm of millionaire yacht owners and renowned actors to the glamorous world of a fashion magazine.

It is finely balanced and shows the seedy side of life among the wealthy who overindulge in alcohol and drugs, and get caught up in sexual assault and violence.

Up-and-coming actress Claudia Hemmingway invites best friend and deputy editor of Fille (her plus one) Lisa Lassiter, to a weekend in Mykonos.

In the background, Lisa is struggling with an incident that took place 10 years ago.

She has agonised over being asked to write about it and is now faced with her demons.

The book holds no punches and is a gripping page-turner for anyone looking for a chilled-out easy read.

Raphaely has a career spanning many years as editor and publisher of women’s magazines including Cosmopolitan, O, Good Housekeeping and Marie Claire.

This is her debut novel. She went through 15 drafts before Plus One was published.

But why, oh why, did her advisers not tell her to NOT write it in the present tense. This is normally used to indicate that an action is present, now, relative to the speaker or writer, such as being present at a tsunami or tornado, and not to introduce chapters of a story.

But don’t let that put you off. From London to
the Aegean, Cape Town, Hollywood and New York, the story is entertaining, naughty and has a surprising twist in the tail.