Reality show star turned business mogul success story Bethenny Frankel is once again attempting to expand her empire, adding fiction author to a resume that already includes actress, runner-up on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City, creator (and seller) of the Skinny Girl brand of cocktail mixes, daily cleanse and shapewear, New York Times best-selling non-fiction author, star of her own reality series Bethenny Ever After, and host of her own talk show.
The novel is called Skinnydipping and features main character Faith, who is fresh out of college and looking to make it as an actress in Hollywood. I’ll let the publisher pick it up from there:
But when reality hits, she finds herself with a gig as a glorified servant, a role that has more to do with T&A than acting, and a dead-end relationship. Finally, Faith decides she’s had enough of La La Land and moves back to New York with just a suitcase and her dog Muffin.
Five years later, Faith has finally found her groove as an entrepreneur and manages to land a spot on a new reality TV show hosted by her idol—the legendary businesswoman and domestic goddess Sybil Hunter. Diving into the bizarre world of reality TV, Faith’s loud mouth and tell-it-like-it-is style immediately get her in trouble with her fellow contestants—the delusional socialite, the boozy lifestyle coach, the moody headband designer, and her closest friend, the ambitious housewife who eventually betrays her. Even Sybil is not what she appears.
As the show comes to a dramatic close, Faith discovers that the man of her dreams may have just walked in to her life. Will she choose fame or love? Or can she have it all?
Wait, this book is fiction? It sure sounds exactly like Bethenny’s real life to me! She moved out to California and wound up appearing in a T&A movie (topless I might add) titled Hollywood Hills 90028. She gave up her acting career and then appeared on the reality competition show The Apprentice: Martha Stewart before then appearing on The Real Housewives of New York City, finding true love with Jason Hoppy, then getting her ow spin-off series and lots of fame.
But hey, write what you know, right? And it seems to be yet another brilliant marketing concept by Bethenny because of course there will be characters in the book people will try to connect to actual people in Bethenny’s life. (Which one is supposed to be Jill Zarin? And which one is Kelly Bensimon?) And that’s a marketing ploy Bethenny acknowledged when it was first announced she had signed a three book deal with Touchstone Fireside back in September:
“It’s about a girl’s journey and what she wants, and trying to have it all. It’s about the lessons and the people along the way, about naysayers and rising above. There will be a lot of juiciness and people wondering what it’s based on and if any of it was influenced by my life.”
The Hollywood Reporter is the first to weigh in critically, and they liked what they read! (You can read the first chapter for free by clicking the link and scrolling down to the bottom of the article.)
Skinnydipping is a totally fun, dishy read, especially for fans of reality TV. Clearly, Frankel has drawn inspiration from her own life to construct the plot of the novel and half the fun is trying to figure which characters and events might be drawn from her real life and which are entirely made up.
Here’s Bethenny’s dedication in the front of the book:
This book is dedicated to our imagination. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to travel to places we never thought we could go, to dream about things that we never thought we could do, and to feel the feeling of pure freedom. let your imagination run wild. It may take you somewhere so incredible that you can hardly believe it is true.
And as proof that the book has Bethenny’s famously brash and no-holds-barred take on things, here’s the final paragraph from the first chapter:
“OK, Jodi Sue,” I say. “Why don’t you just go sit on your ass out of the way and get your cleavage ready for the stilt walkers. They’re going to have a great view.” her mouth drops open as I spin away and set off to track down Andy. Because if I don’t find those clowns in the next fifteen minutes, I might as well not even show up at the finale. As I storm past Sybil — she stands silently, critically in the doorway with her arms crossed — I can’t help myself. “What do you think, Sybil?” I ask. “Are you entertained? Is it everything you hoped to see from me? Because you haven’t seen anything yet.”
Oh snap! (I’m going to go ahead and put my money on Sybil being Martha Stewart.) It appears that if you love Bethenny (as millions do!) then you will enjoy this book. Once again, Skinnydipping goes on sale May 1. You can order your copy now from amazon!