Brooke Alter’s life is about to change forever. She’s been working two jobs for several years as a nutritionist in New York to support her husband Julian’s emerging music career when he suddenly gets signed to a record deal by Sony. Although this is an exciting development, it comes with real costs. Brooke finds herself alone most nights while Julian works at the recording studio. When he performs on the late-night talk show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, his career unexpectedly takes off.
Seemingly overnight, Julian and Brooke are catapulted into the world of rock superstardom. At first, the fame, money and attention are thrilling. Then the tabloids, led by dishy gossip magazine Last Night, start to focus in on them. When Julian is photographed at the Chateau Marmont with a sexy young starlet, Brooke feels threatened. She tries to accommodate Julian’s increasingly demanding schedule by travelling with him whenever she can take time off from work. However, she is soon compromising her career. Meanwhile, her relationship with Julian is the subject of speculation in the tabloids. The stress of constant media attention causes rifts in their marriage; at the Grammy Awards, the relationship reaches crisis. Will their marriage survive?
Readers will be captivated by the “front row seat” look into the life of a famous rock star and his wife. As Julian and Brooke learn to live with their newfound celebrity, the pressure on their marriage becomes intense. Brooke and Julian are definitely naïve about how their newfound celebrity status will change their lives. Brooke thinks she can continue to work at her two jobs without any impact on her career. When her boss confronts her about her increasing absences, she realizes there is a serious problem. “She always had to follow him, accompany him, support him. The alternative being they’d never see each other. It was an impossible situation.” (p. 252) Julian is equally naïve when he trusts his manipulative manager, Leo, who is more interested in promoting controversy and generating hype than helping Julian to cope with his newfound fame and save his marriage.
Lauren Weisberger became a bestselling author with her novel The Devil Wears Prada (2003), which was made into an award-winning film starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. Since then, she has written Everybody Worth Knowing (2005) and Chasing Harry Winston (2008). Weisberger is at her very best when she writes about the interesting details of superstar encounters (“She briefly turned her back toward the camera-free zone behind them and caught a glimpse of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban coming out of a stretch black Escalade.”). (p. 262) With her fourth novel, Last Night at Chateau Marmont, Weisberger gives readers very entertaining look at what it takes to be a celebrity in today’s media-savvy world.