Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe


Revenge: Sharon Osbourne, October 9November 1, 2012

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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.


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This entry was posted on November 1, 2012 by in 4 star and tagged .

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@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare