Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Fancy Pants

Posted June 12, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Fancy PantsFancy Pants by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A romance of riches to rags and back again.

My Take
I almost want to call it an epic romance there are so many twists and turns over a period of years! Phillips sets us up with a long explanation of how and why Francesca turns out as she does. In some ways, it’s embarrassing to observe her behavior with people. It’s certainly a good morality tale for treating people with consideration. It’s also classic in how nurture affects one’s outlooks and ambitions.

I also couldn’t help but enjoy and commiserate with Francesca’s predicament. She’s such a nasty person that I thought she deserved it and yet the insecurities which Phillips revealed just made you want to cry for her. And then she began her slow crawl back up. With lessons learned.

This actually is a compelling read. I never did quite grasp what the attraction was between them, but couldn’t put it down as I was too intrigued to find out where Phillips was going with this story. If Francesca would be reprieved. How Dallas fit into it all.

I don’t agree with Francesca’s decision to cut Dallas off from his child; I understand why she didn’t tell him, but she was wrong. I also wish that Phillips had given us some kind of notice besides a new chapter that we had leapt years of Francesca’s life…

You know, they say that money doesn’t buy happiness. And they’re right. But, I’d rather be rich and miserable than poor and miserable.

Oh, it’s just too funny at the end…and, no, I ain’t gonna tell ya. It’s much too sweet to arrive on that last page after reading all the background that just makes it that funny.

The Story
Poor Francesca. Accustomed to an unending flow of funds and the admiration of the men around her. Using and abusing. Thinking only of herself. So it comes as quite a shock when the money suddenly runs dry and the reality of her behavior sinks in.

The negative adventures she endures until it finally sinks in to Little Miss Imperious Fluffbucket that she hasn’t any friends. Nor does she have any money. And it takes a wee bit of forever for her lack of social skills to sink in enough to make a difference. Still, Francesca has a strong character and she does pull herself up in a most unexpected way. Finally finding herself.

Dallie, now Dallie survived running away from home by insulting golfers into playing against him for money and eventually playing into the pro tours. He had Miss Sybil at home pushing him into completing his education. And he’s a pretty good, all-round boy. If you ignore his way with the ladies. And how he chokes in critical golf games.

It’s Francesca’s two pivotal encounters that affect the rest of her life: with Dallas when she’s running away from the B-movie vampire set and her desperate efforts with her first radio show.

Having a baby is definitely easier.

The Characters
Francesca Serritella Day is heiress to a party girl mama who inherited her money from her fashion designer mother. Francesca was brought up not to consider money and that men were there to be used. Teddy is Francesca’s brilliant son.

Prince Stefan Marko Brancuzi, the sole heir to a Balkan principality, is just the latest in a line of royalty seeking her favor. The very wealthy Nick Gwynwyck‘s troublesome infatuation with Francesca inspired his sister Miranda‘s nasty little plot.

Dallas “Dallie” Beaudine actually had a similar childhood to Francesca’s. True, it was on the poor end of the scale, but his father was as neglectful as her mother. It’s just that Dallie saw it for what it was and lit out. Skeet Cooper was a drunk on parole when he met Dallie. And was rescued by the fifteen-year-old. They’ve been together the ten years ever since. Holly Grace is Dallie’s wife. The one he hasn’t lived or had sex with in years. Not since their tragic loss. Miss Sibyl was his English teacher in high school, one who recognized Dallas’ potential and mentored him right through college. Now Dallas is returning the favor.

Naomi Jaffe Tanaka Perlman is almost a vice-president of advertising at her firm…if she can just find the right Sassy Girl. Her brother Gerry Jaffe is on the run, again, for some illegal sit-in, bombing, or…who knows. And Naomi is getting tired of it. Clare Padgett is the radio station manager with a down on any woman wanting to make it on the air.

The Cover
It’s a simple cover with its white wall and maple hardwood floor. With Francesca’s black-clad legs dangling over the end of the deep pink sofa, her feet in their slip-on matching heels crossed at the ankles.

The title is the nickname Dallas has bestowed on Francesca, Fancy Pants.

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