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Three Girls and Their Brotherby Theresa Rebeck
Synopses & Reviews
Now that its all over, everybody is saying it was the picture–that stupid picture was behind every disaster. . . .
They may be the granddaughters of a famous literary critic, but what really starts it all is Daria, Polly, and Amelia Hellers stunning red hair. Out of the blue one day, The New Yorker calls and says that they want to feature the girls in a glamorous spread shot by a world-famous photographer, and before long these three beautiful nobodies from Brooklyn have been proclaimed the new “It” girls.
But with no parental guidance–Moms a former beauty queen living vicariously through her daughters, and Dad is nowhere to be found–the three girls find themselves easy prey for the sharks and piranhas of show business. Posing in every hot fashion magazine, tangling with snarling fashonistas and soulless agents, skipping school and hitting A-list parties, the sisters are caught up in a whirlwind rise to fame that quickly spirals out of control.
When Amelia, the youngest of the three–who never really wanted to be a model in the first place–appears in an Off-Broadway play, the balance of power shifts, all the pent-up resentment and pressure comes to a head, and the girls quiet, neglected brother reaches a critical point of virtual breakdown. And against the odds, even as the struggle for fame threatens to tear the family apart, the Hellers begin to see that despite the jealousy, greed, and uncertainty that have come to define their relationships, in the celebrity world of viciousness and betrayal, all they really have is one another.
Narrated in four parts, from the perspective of each sibling, Three Girls and Their Brother is a sharp, perceptive, and brilliantly written debut novel from an acclaimed playwright.
"Rebeck has won an Edgar and a Peabody for her TV work and numerous awards for her plays. Her hilarious first novel begins when the New Yorker profiles the three beautiful granddaughters and grandson of a famed late literary critic, Leo Heller. As a perennially aspiring model, Daria, 18, is ecstatic. Her younger sister, Polly, 17, is thrilled, too, but 14-year-old Amelia could care less. Philip, 15, who is the smartest of the group, is the first of the four to assume the first-person narrative; he's wary of all the attention, but the siblings' former beauty queen mom can't wait to take advantage of the publicity and push her daughters into show biz, even if it means sacrificing their schooling. Rebeck shines when Amelia gets cast in a ridiculous off-Broadway play: her insider's look at the theater world is spot on and uproarious, particularly her contrast of poor starving actors with rich starving models and of theater types with Hollywood types. The siblings' voices are not consistently strong, and an over-the-top revenge plot drains some power from the plot, but the crackling satire and scene-stealing secondaries carry the book." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this sharp-edged drama that unfolds in New York's celebrity fast lane, it takes an awful incident with a famous movie star to blast three famous girls--and their brother--out of their self-destructive spiral.
About the Author
THERESA REBECKs plays include Bad Dates, Omnium Gatherum (a Pulitzer finalist), The Scene, and Mauritius, which won Bostons prestigious IRNE and Elliot Norton Award and premiered on Broadway in 2007. Rebeck has also won the Peabody, the Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Drama, the Mystery Writers of Americas Edgar Award, the National Theatre Conference Award, and the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award. She holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
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