Welcome back Buzz Book Club readers! We're now three stories into Four Blondes, and somehow I'm not surprised that she gave us an honest-to-goodness princess in the section we read this week. I suppose after former model and magazine editor, it's the next logical place to go, right? Sidenote: I really think Candice Bushnell's at her best when she's writing in the first person. The story raised a few questions for me and I can't wait to discuss.
If you're new to the Book Club, this is how it goes: every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in May). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.
Of course, you are always welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.
The next assignment: Finish the book by completing the final story titled "Single Process." We'll chat about the final section a week from today, Friday, May 30.
To discuss the second section of Four Blondes (in which we read to the end of the story titled "Platinum,"
- In the story, Cecelia has achieved everything that Janey (from the first story) was striving for and probably would have envied — she literally married a wealthy prince and became a socialite. And yet, even in this lifestyle, she's not only miserable but drowning in a kind of paranoia. Do you think Bushnell is making a statement about the goals these women have for themselves?
- More than the others, this story focuses on female friendships — but just like the male-female relationships so far, they aren't particularly healthy or happy. In fact, in both Cecelia's past friendship with Amanda and her current friendship with Dianna Moon, there is a sense of unhealthy obsession and an emotional instability on the parts of all the women. What do you make of these friendships? Are they meant to just highlight how alone Cecelia is because of her lifestyle, or do you think Bushnell is saying something about female friendship overall?
- I found it difficult to discern many redeeming qualities about Cecelia, and I also found her to be an unreliable narrator in many ways because she is so unstable. And yet, there is one moment of clarity for Cecelia that I was really on board for: when she stops and ponders whether she's ever done anything without the help of a man. It's these moments when Bushnell questions sexual politics and gender roles that I find her writing most appealing. And yet, these musings come to us by way of the most mentally unstable character of all the blondes so far. What do you think of this?