The Adventuress: A Novel

The Adventuress: A Novel

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by N. D. Coleridge, Nicholas Coleridge
     
 

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A delightfully wicked novel, The Adventuress follows the rise and rise of Cathy Fox, a modern-day Becky Sharp

No one forgets Cath Fox. From her scorpion tattoo to her other worldly charms, she's a shrewd woman-on-the-make who will not be swayed in her quest for the top.

From her humble beginnings as a matron's assistant at a top girls' boarding

Overview

A delightfully wicked novel, The Adventuress follows the rise and rise of Cathy Fox, a modern-day Becky Sharp

No one forgets Cath Fox. From her scorpion tattoo to her other worldly charms, she's a shrewd woman-on-the-make who will not be swayed in her quest for the top.

From her humble beginnings as a matron's assistant at a top girls' boarding school, Cath embarks on a journey that will take her from a Portsmouth backstreet to the boardrooms of the global empires. With a cast of footballers, media moguls, lords and dukes, Coleridge charts the rise of a woman who will not be denied, right to the very pinnacle of society—a Royal Wedding.

N. D. Coleridge has been praised by everyone from Tina Brown to The New Yorker to Graydon Carter for his irresistibly funny and flawless dissection of social mores. Cutting a sweep from the 80s to the present day, this Vanity Fair for our age is keenly observed, hilarious, and utterly addictive.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An English woman from a poor neighborhood learns how to manipulate rich men and the financial market, moving herself up the impossible ranks of the UK class system in Coleridge's latest novel (after Pride and Avarice). Cath Fox is a striking chameleon, seen first as a teenaged matron at a prestigious women's college who sleeps with teachers and steals from students. She begins an affair with a student's handsome father, which ends with him returning to his wife. Cath finds work in an erotic massage parlor for men where she serves octogenarian Lord Blaydon, becoming his personal nurse and eventually his fiancée. But when the Lord dies moments after his proposal, Cath finds herself on the streets again only to begin the greatest adventure of her life, involving high paying careers and multiple marriages to wealthy/powerful men that land her in royal courts. Her story is intertwined with the lives of those she's touched but barely acknowledged, including a daughter she gave birth to and abandoned before her time as a matron. Coleridge's narrative moves with ease but lacks both linguistic vitality and character depth. It's an entertaining read, and she sets the stage for an absorbing literary venture but disappointingly manages only to skim the surface. (June)
From the Publisher

“One of the juiciest heroines in recent memory goes by six different names, wiggles her way into the bedrooms of just as many men, and lands an invitation to the royal wedding (yes, that one). Society porn at it's best.” —Glamour

“Writing with wicked brio, the author, who is president of Conde Nast International and a great observer and mimic, remains on just the right side of the line marked "off-color," for it's fair to say the end is not the novel's only climax.” —Vanity Fair

“Irresistible rags-to-riches saga…Throughout, the author adeptly balances the different threads, maintains a polished and briskly paced plot, and provides readers with a story that's an absolute delight. Coleridge's smashing epic delivers a wealth of entertainment.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Coleridge's narrative moves with ease...an entertaining read.” —Publishers Weekly

“Becky Sharp has nothing on Cath Fox. In this clever retelling of Vanity Fair, you become as fascinated by this tattooed, amoral girl from a council flat in Portsmouth as the characters who encounter her are....It's the ultimate rags to riches story -- and you can't help but want to be a little bit more like Cath Fox.” —The Standard

“You cannot fail to be entertained by [N.D.] Coleridge's latest novel...This clever retelling of Vanity Fair is not only hugely enjoyable but also has some spot-on social observations and splendid comic set pieces...Coleridge's fiction is at once frisky and frolicsome, and he has a sharp eye for absurd detail...All in all, Coleridge has served up a delicious souffle on Thackery's china. It's a glorious hoot.” —Tatler

“The novel is as racy a bonkbuster as you could want. But it also has a cruelly compelling satirical edge...Coleridge has an admirably pared-down style...reminiscent of Tom Wolfe: few who pick up The Adventuress will be able to put it aside before they finish it.” —Metro

“[Coleridge] captures the social milieu of his characters perfectly. This is lively narrative.” —Mail on Sunday

The Adventuress is more than just a comic safari, it is also a sharply written yet lighthearted satire of the British elite.” —GQ UK

“Cathy Fox is a woman who will not be denied . . . and you'll love her brazen nerve and chutzpah.” —Glamour (UK)

“Sizzlingly funny and incredibly filthy, each scene bubbles with mischief and white-water-rapids you to the next. . . . [Coleridge] delivers hugely readable, witty, sharp and sexy fiction.” —The Lady

Kirkus Reviews
Scandalous behavior, a scheming opportunist and the upper echelons of British society provide fodder for this irresistible rags-to-riches saga by Coleridge (Pride and Avarice, 2010, etc.), president of Condé Nast International. Never down on her luck for long, Cath Fox is bold and single-minded in her ferocious pursuit of what--and whom--she wants. Her upward climb, which begins in the 1980s and spans 30 years, delivers prime-time soap appeal à la Dynasty as Cath, with her tattoos and earthy sex appeal, molds herself from punk rock raw to Alexis Carrington–chic and beyond. Before her 18th birthday, she has daughter Jess with a nightclub bouncer, catches him in a compromising position with her own mother and flees the slums of Portsmouth, England, with nary a backward glance. With chameleonlike ability, Cath creates new personas and plots/sleeps her way to the top. Her ascent from the fringes of society into the highest echelons is not always seamless, but Cath is wily and takes advantage of each opportunity. She works as an assistant matron at a private girls school, meets student Annabel Goode and launches into a doomed affair with Annabel's father. Her skills and willingness to provide extra services as a "masseuse" result in a very brief engagement to Lord Charles Blaydon, an octogenarian whose final moment of bliss occurs during their private betrothal celebration. And Cath's stint working in a magazine house leads to a chance meeting with soccer star Ryan James, who becomes the first of her husbands and whose notoriety and riches whet her appetite for more. While Cath climbs to the social pinnacle of British society, Annabel's life takes a more conventional route, though it's not without its own share of tribulations, and Jess becomes a journalist after spending her childhood with a loving adoptive family. The three women's lives intersect on different occasions over the years, which sets up a predictable, yet satisfying, conclusion. Throughout, the author adeptly balances the different threads, maintains a polished and briskly paced plot, and provides readers with a story that's an absolute delight. Coleridge's smashing epic delivers a wealth of entertainment.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250028259
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

A former newspaper journalist and magazine editor, N.D. COLERIDGE joined Conde Nast as editorial director of the British company in 1989. He has been managing director since 1991 and president of Conde Nast International since 2012. He is the author of four previous novels and lives in London and Worcestershire with his wife and four children.

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The Adventuress: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A modern day Becky Sharp