10th Aug 2012
In the Name of Love by Katie Price
Like many of Price’s other titles, the main character, Charlie Porter , has strong parallels with her creator: with modest family roots that sometimes hold her back, Charlie is a passionate horse-lover and a TV personality (though in this case, a sports presenter) who has to contend with the press judging her every move.
Charlie’s beloved horse is killed in a tragic accident, leaving her with a suffocating fear of riding. Recently separated from a cheating footballer boyfriend, she is whisked away to forget it all on a luxurious Barbados holiday by her WAG best friend, Zoe. There, she meets the intriguing and handsome Felipe Castillo - and it’s then the story really starts…
Let me come out with it: I am the opposite of what you might imagine a Katie Price fan to be like. I can’t stand the style of vapid chick lit that you would expect from her novels.
I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I picked the book up full of disdain, judging it not even by its cover, but by its author.
The most common criticism I’ve read of Katie Price’s novels is of the ‘Oh, it’s not written by her anyway’ variety.
However, not only does Price openly admit she co-writes with Rebecca Farnworth, this isn’t a book you’d struggle to imagine her writing.
The start is, indeed, agonisingly slow: no scene-building, two-dimensional characters, an expanse of needless prose that contributes nothing to the (so far non-existent) plot, an extremely dodgy spelling of the word ‘vergina’ (no, really), and language basic enough for a seven-year-old – except for the bit about the ‘vergina’, of course.
But the more I read, the more I liked, in spite of myself. It is easy (and enjoyable) to get lost in the world of these beautiful, successful people.
The plot thickens considerably to the point where the book becomes a real page-turner; the characters become more lovable, and we even get the hint of some interesting back-story concerning Charlie’s family and the truer side of her bitchy colleague, Darcy. There’s also an intriguing poison pen letter sub-plot, although with a resolution that I found frustrating.
Yes, the prose remains basic, and yes, there are no massive surprises when it comes to character or plot – but does every novel need to try and win the sodding Orange Prize? Sometimes, it’s nice to switch off and delve into what is actually a bloody good story – and one that I do not regret having read.
Charlie might not be hugely realistic, but she’s feisty (something hammered home by the use of adjective about eleventy times over), she’s decent, and she has insecurities and hang-ups, just like every woman reading her story.
If you want to relax in the sun and get lost in an easy-going, fun and sometimes touching story, In the Name of Love a winner. Katie Price doesn’t try to be a literary genius, but she very cleverly makes herself the My Best Friend’s Wedding of the book world: she appeals to the guilty pleasure we can all find in a simple, satisfying love story.
Recommended for: “Girly” girls, sun-loungers, and romantics