Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Crimson Petal and the White

This is one of the most extraordinary books I've ever read. Shocking and crude, it brutally reveals the ugly (even grotesque) living conditions of the less fortunate (particularly the poor and the prostitutes - being a poor prostitute seemed to be the worst combination possible), and the sharp divide between the social classes in Victorian England.

It follows Sugar, an extremely intelligent and ambitious prostitute who manages to seduce and manipulate a rich but failing businessman, William Rackham. She manages to leave the horrible brothel she's been working at, Mrs Castaway's (which was ran by her own mother by the way) and becomes Rackham's private mistress. Sugar of course thinks of Rackham as merely a tool, a path if you will, for her own welfare and possibly salvation. Needless to say, William, a classic arrogant know-it-all, is naive enough to think he's in for a treat and that Sugar's intentions are genuine (like the majority of men, I'm sorry to say). For him, Sugar is evidently an escape from his financial problems and mentally imbalanced wife (who feels terrorized by her monthly bleeding). Nevertheless, unfortunately for the two protagonists, things do not turn out as planned: William gets more than he's bargained for and Sugar has to deal with her profound sensitivity and emotionality.

Like Joanne Harris in a previous post, Faber allows each character to have its own unique voice and communicate his/her thoughts directly to the reader, making the story even more interesting and intriguing. The characters are also what literary critics would call 'round': although they are nothing more than dramatic constructs, they are far from perfect or even worse, 'flat' (something I'm not going to expand on, so I won't spoil it for you!).

Overall, a real page-turner for all of its 800+ pages, but make no mistake, this is not for the faint-hearted!

PS: I think it was also made into a TV series by the BBC, but unfortunately I haven't had the chance to watch it yet. But when I do, you can expect a review post!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Hearting Court Shoes

Another post of my all things favourite: court shoes. They have this je-ne-sais-quoi which consequently give you (or me in this case!) this je-ne-sais-quoi attitude. After quite some time browsing shopping sites I give you my top 3 court shoes buys (which are also on my Christmas list if anyone is interested!):

Christian Louboutins 695GBP

Kurt Geiger 180GBP

Topshop 46GBP

The Wellies debate

I've never liked Wellington boots. I thought they were far from being even remotely elegant or gracious or tasteful.

Then I moved to the UK. Northern UK to be more precise, with all the nice (or not) things this entails: rain, puddles everywhere, rain, lots of mud, rain. Two years of refusing to wear wellies and several damaged shoes later, I decided I had to be practical. Luckily for me, at the time I decided to go on with Mission Wellingtons, wellies had been in the fashion scene for some time, and apparently they also came out in modern and stylish designs. I bought mine last week. They are bright, they are modern, and they can be cleaned unbelievably easily!

Oh the joy of not ruining my Uggs!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Hearting Whittard of Chelsea

This is one of those posts for my all things favourite: Whittard products. To be honest I'm not a huge fan of coffee (causes cellulite), but I love, LOVE their hot chocolate and tea. 

Some time ago the mother and the sister came to visit me and knowing my deep love for everything Whittard, they brought me a collection of hot chocolates (seven to be precise), each named after a deadly sin. I have mint chocolate for Lust, caramel chocolate for Greed, luxury chocolate for Pride, white chocolate for Gluttony, Aztec Chilli chocolate for Anger, 70% dark chocolate for Envy and ginger chocolate for Sloth. And don't get me started on the sprinkles!

Sadly, I can't open it. It's too pretty. Too perfect to be opened. I'll let you know in a later post if I manage to put my feelings aside and rip the box open (oh yes, they are in a box, all seven of them with the sprinkles, like in a shop window!!).

Being a student, I'm on a budget so I tend not to splurge on many things, but my tea is one of them (yes, you've guessed correctly, it's Whittard). Although now that I come to think of it, they are not that expensive anyway! I have the Cinnamon and Orange Rooibos (for detox), but my most recent purchase is the Green Tea with Lemon. Refreshing and invigorating, it reminds me to Keep Calm and Brew Up.

PS: Their vintage tea caddies are always a plus!


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