Skinnydipping by Bethenny Frankel
Published by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon and Schuster
Faith Brightstone is determined to make it as an actress, which is why immediately after college she packs her bags and moves to LA from her hometown of New York City. After spending time working in various jobs, none of which involve acting, and realizing her love interest is actually a married man, Faith lays her dreams of an acting career to rest and heads back to New York. Five years later, Faith’s landed a spot on a new reality TV show – a competition for employment with the legendary businesswoman and “domestic goddess” Sybil Hunter, Faith’s idol. As the crazy months of the show wind down, Faith realizes she may have found love in pursuit of success, and she may be forced to make a choice between her dream career and the love of her life.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Bethenny Frankel. I’ve watched her on TV for years and I think she is hysterical, smart, and an extremely savvy businesswoman. So when I heard that she was planning on writing a novel, I knew for sure I’d read it as soon as I could get my hands on a copy.
Skinnydipping is a work of fiction, but anyone familiar with Bethenny’s own story will recognize much of it within these pages. It felt to me like a way for Bethenny to tell her story without having to write a memoir. And maybe she was able to add some fun details in and exaggerate others for effect. In fact, I watched Bethenny when she was on Martha Stewart’s Apprentice, which is obviously what she modeled the reality TV show in this novel after. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy the book – in fact, I liked it even more because I knew a lot of the stuff in it had to be based on reality – but it is to say that anyone who believes that this is true fiction is kidding themselves.
I did enjoy the book, though. It wasn’t written incredibly well and parts of it just seemed like a way to tell the reader how messed-up Hollywood is, but overall it held my attention. I liked Faith and (especially since I could only see her as Bethenny) I wanted success for her. I found myself caring about what happened to her and raced through the last third of the book. In the end, I was satisfied with it overall and it was a nice way to pass a lazy Sunday by the pool.
I definitely wouldn’t have picked this book up if it were written by anyone other than Bethenny Frankel. I would recommend this one for Bethenny fans as well as those who enjoy chick-lit. While not my usual fare, I did enjoy Skinnydipping.