2019 May 24
‘Query. Would it be a serious breach of etiquette to run out on my own wedding?’ This is the question Becky Steele asks herself as she clings to the window ledge of her parents’ bathroom, grimly regarding the ten-foot drop into the dustbins below. She stares in disbelief at the meringue dress for which she has drunk only skimmed water for four weeks to fit into. Why can’t Becky commit to Julian, human rights lawyer, and her Knight in Shining Armani? Yes, Julian’s the right man. But has she had enough wrong ones?
Kathy Lette, a pioneer in contemporary feminist writing, has penned many an international bestseller (Mad Cows, How to Kill Your Husband and Other Handy Household Hints, The Boy Who Fell To Earth etc.). She has a penchant for portraying serious issues in comedic storylines, filled with sass and wit. Her novel aptly named ‘Altar Ego’ was no different, made out to be a narrative meant to challenge all novels that imply a woman is nothing without her knight in shining armor.
Becky Steele’s story tells the tale of a woman with commitment issues, suffering through a midlife crisis and on the verge of going back to her previous promiscuous days. The book is a light read that will probably fill your thoughts with ‘Why on Earth would she do that?’ as the plot (and Becky herself) follows through with some ridiculous storylines and train wrecks. Becky Steele is inherently flawed and frustrating, however, the best part of the book lies within its dialogue. Author Kathy Lette has a way with her words that will definitely elicit a chuckle or two out of you.
Altar Ego is a witty read, which makes it worth the while, but definitely a bawdy one at that.
Rating – 3/5