Velvet Rope Diaries

The Velvet Rope Diaries

by Daniella Brodsky

I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is The Velvet Rope Diaries by Daniella Brodsky. When we last heard from Ms. Brodsky, it was with Princess of Park Avenue, a straight up Cinderella story about a spunky but insecure hairdresser from the wilds of Brooklyn who follows her dreams and heads uptown, snaring the man of her dreams on the way to a happy ending. As I said at the time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with writing about shopping and sex. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed it.

Based on the cover art and the language on the back cover, I was expecting The Velvet Rope Diaries to be a variation on that theme, and I was fine with that. I was therefore very pleasantly surprised that this new novel shows so much growth. I really applaud Ms. Brodsky: she didn’t have to take the chances she does in this book, but I’m glad she decided to stretch. On the surface, it’s about a young woman with a boss who’s mean and crazy, and how she gets revenge and finds her inner strength. What’s right below the surface is the main character’s struggle with chronic depression and seemingly crippling guilt. Anna Walker has spent her life dealing with the fact that her father died in a house fire, and not only did she not save his life, but more unforgivably she survived. The fact that she was a child doesn’t change the fact that she murdered him. She’s been stuck since that day going over and over it, and agreeing with her inner voice that she doesn’t deserve anything better than the awful treatment she gets every day from her boss at the New York New York newspaper.

When her funny and very cruel diary musings are leaked to the public, her career takes off. She is suddenly the one in charge of finding the newest ‘hot spots.’ (Hot spots — get it?) Her club-hopping column is a big success, and she has to figure out how she deserves what she’s suddenly getting. And because this is still a ‘chick lit’ novel of a sort, she’s suddenly also getting the attention of two fabulous men. Who will she choose? Will her awful ex-boss torpedo her new career? Will she overcome the shame of showing up at a club opening in LYMJ? (Last Year’s Mark Jacobs — the horror!)

The nice thing about the writing here is that Anna doesn’t have a sudden epiphany that makes everything okay. Her dad doesn’t come to her in a dream. Her inner life is tough and she has a lot of emotional work to do. But you get the idea by the end that she’s ready to stop living in that one day and go have the rest of her life. I was proud of Anna and I was also very proud of Daniella Brodsky for this fine, moving book. (And yes, there is sex and shopping — even better!)

The Velvet Rope Diaries by Daniella Brodsky. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Velvet Rope Diaries by Daniella Brodsky, the author of last year’s Princess of Park Avenue.

That book was classic chick lit, and I enjoyed it. This one seems more grown up somehow. Although the elements are still there — shopping, sex, the latest clubs in New York, and deciding which fabulous guy is the right one — the heroine is less of a fairy tale character and more like a real person. Anna has a bad job at New York New York newspaper and works for a monstrous boss. She relives her father’s long ago death in a house fire every day, hanging on to her guilt and refusing to believe she deserves anything positive. The idea of deserving things is an important one here. The Velvet Rope Diaries follows Anna’s accidental success as a club hopping columnist and her dry and very funny narration makes this book work. The Velvet Rope Diaries by Daniella Brodsky. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Velvet Rope Diaries by Daniella Brodsky.

That’s also the name of the improbably successful newspaper column written by the heroine, Anna Walker. She has no contacts, no experience and has to live down the shame of showing up at a club opening in Last Years Mark Jacobs (those are shoes, by the way). Anna has a lot to deal with: her ex-boss is on a vendetta against her, and her long time just-friends roommate Ray is starting to look awfully good. The Velvet Rope Diaries works on one level as chick lit fun, but it’s a better and deeper book because Anna is also dealing with the guilt of her father’s death — she’s felt responsible since she was a child. As the narrator, Anna gets to explain over and over why it was her fault and we also get to watch her slowly puzzle out that maybe it wasn’t. I was expecting a fun book but I was happily surprised by how good this one was. The Velvet Rope Diaries by Daniella Brodsky. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Velvet Rope Diaries by Daniella Brodsky

I really enjoyed the author’s last novel, Princess of Park Avenue, and I was expecting more of the same sort of light, fun reading — sex and shopping. I was happily surprised at how much Ms. Brodsky has grown as a writer; this is a very well done book. Anna Walker is barely making it at the New York New York newspaper. Her boss is a harpy but she’s sure she deserves the treatment — after all, when she was seven, her father died in a house fire and she failed to rescue him. It was her fault. And that’s the groove she’s worn in her mind. The Velvet Rope Diaries has lots of the fun stuff I was looking forward to — sex and shopping — but gets an added dimension from Anna’s struggle to accept her sudden success as a columnist, and her battle against her personal demons of guilt and inertia. Pick a guy, get some new shoes, and start living, Anna! The Velvet Rope Diaries by Daniella Brodsky. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


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