The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
I have been lucky throughout my Bookselling career to have had some great bosses, many of which I still count as jolly good friends. One manager, Bec bought me The Devil Wears Prada and it is a book I still love today and which is in my Top 10. Bec and I had lots of fun working together, I saved her life during a Harry Potter launch event when she was in danger of being trampled by 20 determined, little feet, we played lots of practical jokes on each other and most importantly she employed a man who was set to become my future husband. So when I read this book, I always think of Bec and the giggles we had.
Andrea (Andy for short) goes to work as a personal assistant for Miranda Priestley, editor of Runway fashion magazine. A job with Miranda opens doors and if Andy can survive just one year then she can choose her next job. The only problem is that Miranda is an absolute monster, making impossible demands, reducing her staff to tears and taking delight in abusing Andy and her colleagues. As Andy is expected to put her life on hold to meet Miranda's every whim, she really discovers she has made a deal with the devil. Can she make it through the year? Or will she realise that no job is worth losing your soul over?
For those of you who have seen the movie, please forget everything! The book is quite different. Meryl Streep's Miranda is a slightly fluffier version of the book's Miranda and there are quite a few plot changes.
New York is still amazing, the fashion is marvellous and we see behind the curtain of what it takes to run one of the world's most successful magazines. The expenses alone are mind-blowing. The first section where Andy details the gifts Miranda sends out on a rating system, by courier, international is really quite astonishing. Nobody questions it or find it faintly ridiculous.
I loved the premise of a girl starting out on a career full of optimism and promise, moving to a new city is something we've all experienced and made me feel 21 years old again! Weisberger supposedly based her novel on her own experiences working at a top fashion magazine and part of me really hopes that she has embellished and exaggerated the character of Miranda because she truly is a monster. Despite having a housekeeper, nanny, maids and 2 personal assistants, Andy bears her wrath when one of Miranda's children has an out of date passport the day before she is due to fly. Miranda issues vague, impossible orders and berates the staff when they fail to interpret correctly or have to ask for clarity.
The book is fast-paced, fabulous and entertaining. I spend most of it willing Andy to wake up and see that life is falling apart around her.
Fans of the film and any New York based fashion show (well hello there Sex and the City!) will love this. It is a marvellous and entertaining read and brings back a lot of happy memories for me.