Bethenny Frankel is known for her blunt honesty and foul-mouthed sense of humor, so fans of hers won’t be disappointed with the entrepreneur’s foray into fiction with “Skinnydipping,” out May 1.
The book tells the story of Faith Brightstone, who has just graduated from college and is headed to Los Angeles with big dreams of establishing a relationship with her estranged father and making it as an actress. Sadly, neither of those plans really pan out, so Faith heads back to New York with her dog, Muffin. Five years later, Faith has her own business, Have Faith Muffins, and is discovered by a producer. She lands a spot on “Domestic Goddess,” a new reality show hosted by her idol, Sybil Hunter, who will grant the winner his or her own show on Sybil’s new network. Faith has her eyes on the prize, but can a new guy, who could be the man of her dreams, change all of that?
Faith and Bethenny obviously have oodles in common. Once upon a time, Bethenny had her own line of muffins and other baked goods called Bethenny Bakes in a pre-Skinnygirl world. Bethenny has a dog named Cookie. She had a very strained relationship with her father. Bethenny got her big break on Martha Stewart’s spinoff of “The Apprentice.” Etc., etc., etc.
But part of the fun in this dishy, brain-vacation read (c’mon, even Bethenny knows this isn’t “War and Peace”) is trying to figure out what’s thinly veiled fiction and what is purely her invention.
“I’ll never tell!” Bethenny teases on her website.
However, the book might have benefited from a little of the editing for which Bethenny’s Bravo shows are famous to help whittle away from the slower parts — especially once Faith returns to New York. But maybe the change of pace is intentional, so readers can feel the same sense of slowing down Faith experiences when her path changes course. Faith’s obsession with her caloric intake is another slight nuisance in the book, but hey, Bethenny’s got Skinnygirl products to sell — so we really can’t blame her for the subtle plug.
All in all, “Skinnydipping” is a really fun summer read, and one can only hope there’s more fiction, thinly veiled or otherwise, from Bethenny where this came from.