Perfect Red by Jennie Nash
~Death sits so close to love, and creation sits so close to destruction, and without the risk of everything flying apart, nothing will hold together.~
What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be. I will admit, I was rolling my eyes a little at the thought of women going bonkers over a tube of lipstick. I don't even own lipstick myself and would never in a million years wait in line for a tube of one no matter how magnificent people thought it was. But, there's hardly anything I would wait in line for... I'm too impatient.
This is a wonderful story set in the 1950's. And, the entire story is built around "Perfect Red" which is the most perfect shade of red lipstick that somehow compliments all women. It's also a time when people fear being accused of associating with communists and the slightest association or accusation would bring people to be questioned and possibly imprisoned. I love the way the author seemed to be able to weave the color red and it's significance throughout the story and yes, it did make me think about how much we can interpret or assume from the color itself. Red is the color we think of when we think of Marilyn Monroe... we also think of it when we hear the word communism... but, it also represents passion, love, death, authority and power. And, I'm sure there's more...
Lucy wants to be a writer. Not an easy task in the 1950's for a woman who is "just" a secretary. She is inspired to write a story based on the hype created by this lipstick. Her journey to become a writer is full of disappointments and betrayal.
My favorite part of the story had to be the point where Lucy realizes the difference between passion and love against obsession and lust. Two very different things...
The story did start a little slowly for me and I nearly put it down and opted not to finish it but felt compelled to continue. Once the story started to pick up pace I was completely drawn in and did not move from my reading spot until I was done. I truly planned on hating this book but ended up loving it and actually shed a few tears towards the end.