Fiction Emma Forrest Cherries In The Snow

ISBN 13: 9780747574323

Cherries In The Snow

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9780747574323: Cherries In The Snow

In Sadie's head, she's a novelist. In real life, she spends her day searching for the ultimate way to say red at Grrl, an ultra hip make-up company. In her sex life, she's a modern-day Lolita who's never dated a man under forty. Then Sadie falls in love with Marley, a graffiti artist with a firm commitment to another woman: his eight-year-old daughter, Montana. Sadie isn't used to competing for a man's affections and certainly not with a little girl who is uncannily like herself. Real love could just be too grown up for her Cherries in the Snow is a novel about womanhood, love, and lipstick. Flippant, sexy, acid and smart, this is Emma Forrest at her most dazzling.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

At sixteen, Emma Forrest became a journalist and had columns in the Sunday Times, the Independent and the Guardian. She is author of two novels, Namedropper and Thin Skin. She now lives in New York, where she writes for Harper's Bazaar, Interview and other magazines, and recently sold her first screenplay.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1: DUTCH COURAGE


When I came into the office, Holly is clutching the morning paper, pointing to a headline and leaping up and down. This being a dream, they are real leaps that hold her midair as if she has a propeller attached to her raspberry beret. "Have you seen the paper? They voted you number one!" I look at the paper, which is pink, a few shades lighter than her hat—puce, let's say—and though I can remember no such periodical, there is a nice picture of me, a little too pouty, at the top of the page. "The top one hundred," screams Ivy, materializing beside her lover at the conference table. "They voted you number one!" She is bouncing up and down with excitement, her gargantuan breasts spanking her double chins in slow motion. "Oh, my God!" squeals Vicki. "Oh, my God," I squeal back, although I am pretty sure the doe-eyed farm girl and I are talking about different Gods. I am at number one. "The top one hundred under thirty"—and then I read the rest of the sentence: "worst writers in the world."

I wake to see that the light on my Apple laptop is blinking saucily at me like "Yeah, baby, you were great last night." Ugh. I regret it, that chapter I pounded out after dinner, two glasses of merlot to the wind, banging the keyboard without mercy. Go away, Apple laptop, your plastic curves don't look so hot in the morning light. There is lipstick smeared across my cheek. I always put on a bright red mouth before I sit down to write. It gives me a kind of Dutch courage.

Before brushing my teeth, my usual habit is to check for e-mail from my father. Today I delete the chapter, shove the computer into my messenger bag, wash my face, and head for work. I take the bus—the better to think straight. I am on deadline to come up with the names for the Grrrl cosmetics summer line. This is my job. I am good at it. The fact that I am good at it makes me nervous. I have a little test tube of sparkling blue-black eye powder in my purse that I keep spilling everywhere. "Dark Night of the Soul," I scribble in my little green notepad. "Demonlover." It's procrastination, this makeup naming. I am supposed to be writing my great novel. There is no deadline. There is no great novel, not even an average one. Just one deleted chapter after another, and that's when I actually get something on the page. No one knows about it except Isaac and he's long gone.

Naming the makeup at Grrrl is the first job I've been good at. I was a lazy librarian. A slothful gym receptionist. A really lousy salesgirl. I lasted a week at my favorite shoe store and now I can't go back. Feet are transfixingly ugly. The wealthier the person, and therefore the more likely I was to get a good commission, the uglier her feet. I couldn't do it.

No one is reading the paper when I get to work. Vicki has an issue of Allure on her desk. Ivy is eating a bagel with cream cheese and jelly. Holly is painting herself a fifties' eye in gunmetal gray with a long angled brush.

"When I was a little girl," says Holly, "I would take my mother's blusher brush"—and right there you might think she's about to reminisce in Anne of Green Gables tones about her golden childhood—"I would take my mother's blusher brush and shove it up my ass." She pauses. "No," she says delicately, "not shove. I would insert it in my ass."

I was about to eat the fruit I'd bought at the corner stand for breakfast, a mango—or is it a papaya? Instead I put it back in its brown paper bag.

I remember Holly's mother's makeup table, a Chinese dresser dotted with mascaras and lipsticks that the maid would clean with a thin feather duster, leaving the makeup undisturbed like a crime scene. The Avilars' maid was white and around her the family would chat in Spanish. There were a lot of Japanese brands on that dresser, slimmer, more minimalist than my mother's gaudy, chemical-scented pearlescents. Holly's mother once gave me a lipstick she had tired of and I still have it; a Kanebo, a deep browny orange that looked awful on everyone but her and Holly, but I wore it anyway because it had been on her lips and I thought it might make me beautiful too. My mother was jealous of Maria Avilar, because she looked like she was thirty and because Holly related to her as though she was thirty. I certainly don't recall Holly hating Maria, can't think of anything that would cause Holly to so intimately abuse Maria's fox-fur tool of enhancement. Sitting at the other end of the conference table from Holly, Ivy stares at her lover/business partner incredulously.

"I don't know why I'm even bothering to ask, but why on earth did you do that?"

Holly sighs, a breath rippling through her body like the small wave before the big one that pulls you under. "I wanted to keep my options open."

She wants to shock us. She wants to shock, period, and that's why she persuaded Ivy to give her the startup for this makeup company. Grrrl cosmetics: ugly makeup, pollution-skyline bruise colors to combat all the shimmering pinks on the market. Neither my mother's Florida corals nor her mother's minimalist stains. To Holly's surprise Grrrl caught on and now has its own stand at Sephora. Holly's last stand, where the edgy girls gather. Everyone's edgy in New York, so it's always crowded. I stop by after work from time to time to see them graze. Bruise colors make your eyes sparkle: purple brings out brown eyes, green mascara highlights the flecks in hazel, blue makes blue eyes brighter. Eighty dollars later the Grrrl fans tote their collection of bruises encased in shiny silver, pained and pretty at the same time—and soon to be poor—the model New York City single girl.

"So?" says Ivy.

"I would put it in my ass to practice for anal sex, should I ever choose to have anal sex." Holly was always the most pragmatic wild child.

Maria, who had herself married a Cuban banker, prepped her daughter to settle down with a rich guy. Instead Holly settled down with a rich girl: Ivy, British and well bred, has never shoved anything up her ass, although she does look like a shover, being built like a cement truck. It's charming, the glitter she wears on her face, conjuring that brief window in the seventies when men built like hog carriers could be glam metal stars, standing, balding and beefy, on the bass behind David Bowie. Bowie, in his starburst Ziggy Stardust days, is a framed picture on the wall here, alongside Courtney Love, Robert Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, Dolly Parton, Debbie Harry, and Gwen Stefani. The natural look has no place in the Grrrl universe.

Holly ended up at the same school as Ivy when Holly's father's bank transferred him to the London office. I ended up at the same school on an academic scholarship, which I almost immediately proved myself unworthy of by sequestering myself in the girls' locker room with Holly and Ivy and learning how to both apply eyeliner smokily and graffiti the walls with it.

I was unaware until years later that their parents were really, really getting their full money's worth for the tuition when Holly and Ivy departed for boarding school together and I stayed behind, heartbroken, reading Jackie Collins novels, reading about the lives they were leading: the skiing holidays in Klosters, the riding instructors taking their virginity.

I imagined boarding school as a wonderland, teenage girls looked after but left alone, a perfect point of adolescence, like riding a wave. And also, according to Holly, fingering. Hard as I try not to, her boasting can still turn me crimson. But I never turn as red as Vicki.

Our midwestern coworker, Vicki, the PR girl, is like me a foreigner, but from farther away because Missouri is truthfully far farther from New York than London. She grew up a bank teller's daughter, so of course she was destined to end up subordinate to a banker's daughter. She is, at thirty, the oldest of us. She is also the prettiest, with a wide, flat face with a small nose, a strong jaw balanced by enormous eyes that she exaggerates with sixties' baby-doll makeup, little Twiggy lashes painted on underneath the lash line.

"Okay," I tut, "we get it: You have big eyes."

She bats her false lashes. Why is she wasting them on me?

"When I was a kid, I used to put blusher everywhere. I mean on my cheeks, my nose, my forehead, my chin . . . but I ain't never put it up my ass," says Vicki.

She thinks "ain't never" is charming. It ain't. I cut straight to the chase: "Anal sex, Holly? I thought you were gay."

Holly is always referring to herself as a "crazy dago dyke." This is interesting given that she has slept with at least as many men as she has women. I think she just likes the alliteration.

"I didn't know. I don't know."

Fixing Vicki, Ivy snaps, "Why would you want to blush? Who wants to look like they're blushing?"

"You wouldn't understand," says Holly. "Those of us with no shame gots to paint it in."

They are bickering as usual. It's amazing that they have built this company together. The collection is spread out in front of me, but now all I see is Holly spread-eagled.

"None of these lipsticks went up your ass? Can you vouch, Ivy," says Vicki, "that no lipsticks went up her ass?"

Vicki, reading my mind, is nevertheless asking a dumb question. If she knew Holly and Ivy as I know them, she'd see that they haven't been intimate in months. But if she could see that, she'd probably go right ahead and ask anyway. Vicki is an insensitive shit like that. Insensitive Shit, I think, good name for a lipstick. You put it on and it gives you the courage to break up with him. Holly will probably go for it. She's already green-lighted a nipple rouge called Suck My Left One.

Sex is everythi...

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ISBN 10: 0747574324 ISBN 13: 9780747574323
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