Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
Revenge: Sharon Osbourne, October 9—November 1, 2012
Revenge is the debut novel from music manager, reality TV star and all-round legend Sharon Osbourne. It centres around two sisters: one has ‘it’ and the other does not. This leads to a lifetime of jealousy, one-upmanship and – you guessed it – revenge.
The plot is very well put together. It isn’t, as you might expect, a thinly veiled dig at long-standing rival Danni Minogue. The only similarities between Revenge’s Stone sisters and the Minogues is their sibling status. You’d be hard pushed to turn this into a vendetta and that is to Sharon’s credit – she’s created this.
The story kicks off with the sisters’ mother and her early life, leading to the conception and birth of Chelsea, then Amber, Stone. The family matriarch also serves as Amber’s manager. Quite an extended period of time centres around Margaret-soon-to-be-Stone (then going by Maggie) which is very important to understanding the character. Her relationship with each of her daughters, and her drive and motivation in her professional capacity, is the product of her own life. We gain a crucial insight into Mrs. Stone which informs the dynamics which hold the rest of the characters together.
Revenge has no clear beginning, middle and end. Every few chapters we are moved on a few years, and the situation the characters find themselves in constantly changes. As with life, there is no one major event that everything centres around. In fact, it is the changing state of the sisters’ careers and interpersonal relationships with their family and inner circle that drives the action.
Both sisters are rewarded with very different personalities. Each are well-rounded and gain the reader’s sympathy at various stages, although Amber arguably comes off better in the long run. Many of the other characters are also very well developed in their own right and their loyalties are well played and cleverly challenged.
Osbourne has a terrific writing style. She very easily creates the seedy Soho scene, murky Hollywood glamour and well-to-do Tory constituencies where the action is set. Each world is believable and constructed with careful attention to detail. Her work on accents helps sets the scene at the beginning of the book, though this tails off later on. The pace is good and the story flows well, although she does have something of an obsession with boobs.
As we reach the conclusion, Osbourne masterfully pulls together all the threads she’s been casually, almost invisibly, weaving and makes good on the book’s theme of revenge. It has a perfectly paced finale with a satisfying conclusion at both plot and character level that also makes clear the story will continue on beyond the last page.
It’s a yes from me, Sharon, and you’re through to your next book.