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Armani Angels (2011)

PR consultant to the stars Gemma decides she needs a new altruistic direction so a friend connects her with Melbourne's grand dame of philanthropy, Frances. But Gemma's 21st century methods of guest databases, invitations by emails and eBay auctions don't go down well with the stick-in the-mud Dame and the UP-Kids' committee. So Gemma is challenged to a fundraising duel. Each will hold a charity function on the same night - and whoever raises the most is the winner. As preparations take Gemma away from her troubled marriage and misbehaving teenage son even more than usual, she also deals with a growing attraction to a New York colleague.
It's loaded guest lists at dusk for these two society women as the old school goes to battle with the new kid in town. With a bitchy social writer keeping track of events throughout, this is an amusing story and by the end you want both women to win.

Chanel Sweethearts (2010)

Jess Wainwright runs a very stylish country cafe but then gets an offer to work as a head designer in the city. Can she really leave Stumpy Gully and adapt to life in Melbourne? But really what's there to stay for - her long-term relationship with Graham has ended, leaving her without the boys she loved like her own sons. And a possible relationship with her old friend Nick doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Meanwhile, her overbearing sister-in-law Caro is worried that her father's new girlfriend is trying to get her hands on their inheritance; her friend Tori is dealing with a shopping addiction; and two greenies are working on a smelly project that may just change the world.
The authors dish up yet another series of caricatures including the well-coiffed, well-to-do townies who regularly arrive in their gleaming vehicles. The Jess in the city aspect was seriously underplayed; the dirty rat could be smelt a mile off, and the mentions of Chanel are few and far between. But it may be just the ticket if you want to lose yourself for a few hours with a light read.

Versace Sisters (2009)

Australian sisters Bella and Sera are both obsessed with keeping up appearances. Flight attendant Bella's pilot husband has just left her for another woman while Sera, who traded in her flight attendant uniform for family life, is compensating for a scar from a childhood accident by trying to be perfect. A cast of other characters are introduced through their Stitch 'n' Bitch knitting group. There's single mum Chantrea who doesn't want to acknowledge her heritage as a Cambodian refugee and upbeat Mallory who's about to get a nasty shock. Widower Sam is looking for some company while trying to get back on the dating scene; Jacqueline is an uptight homemaker who has a penchant for shoplifting and Joan is Sera's critical live-in mother-in-law.
It's an enjoyable and surprisingly unsuperficial look into the lives of people concerned with shallow matters because of deeply ingrained issues.

Gucci Mamas (2007)

If you think that superficial breed of status-obsessed yummy mummy is native only to Manhattan and London, then think again. In Melbourne, Mim Woolcott sends her children to a prestigious private school, where it is mandatory for the mums to keep up with the latest fashions, drive an expensive car, attend charity events and bitch about who gets the biggest photo in the social pages. But big cracks are appearing in Mim's picture-perfect life. Husband James is working ever longer hours but even his big salary can't keep pace with the family's spending - plus he's wondering what's happened to the laid-back woman he married. And it seems Mim is not the only school mum with problems on her gold-rimmed plate.
A timely message about the perils of living in a materialistic world amid lots of label name-dropping and catty behaviour.

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