REVIEW: Arabelle’s Shadows by Fleur Gaskin

May 24, 2013 Uncategorized 3


Everything in Arabelle’s life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she’s even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn’t as wonderful as he first appears. 
Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle’s mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle’s refusing to remember and, if she’s not careful, they’ll use it to destroy her. 
Based on a true story, Arabelle’s Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression
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This book was addictive.  Written by a former fashion model, Arabelle’s Shadows is a deep, personal look inside the world of international modeling.  I was approached by the author a few months ago to do a review and it was weird timing because I had just come up with the idea of Tragic, in fact, has just barely started writing it, and Tragic is about a girl who gets mixed up in  the modeling world.

I know nothing, absolutely nothing about the modeling industry.  I made it all up.  But Arabelle’s Shadows was real. It felt real, in fact I had a very hard time remembering this is “based” off a true story and not one hundred percent true story.  It totally felt like a journal of a very sad girl.

Fleur Gaskin can write.  Her story drew me in so deeply I just keep reading and reading. I actually had to put the book down because I was so absorbed in Arabelle’s story her sadness was wearing off on me.  My story is not sad, it’s kind of light and just barely skims the surface of all the issues that Fleur Gaskin covers in her book, so I had to put the book down to build my mood back up, that’s how compelling her narrative was.

I love books about Asia, I don’t know why, I’ve never been there, I really know nothing about Asia, but it’s interesting to me.  And Arabelle flits all over Asia in her modeling days.  She goes to a lot of different countries, she poses in some very big magazines, she meets a lot of interesting people… Yet, happiness eludes her.

She has a lot of demons, which in this book are called shadows.  But basically, Arabelle has chronic depression.  And it doesn’t help that some of her “friends” take advantage of her. Some of the friends seem nice and loyal, but the ending explains a lot about what’s going on with Arabelle.  And the funny thing is that not all the bad friends are from her modeling world and not all the good friends are from home.  Just goes to show you, there good and bad people everywhere.

This book has three narratives, her teens years, her early modeling days, and her late modeling days.  It’s not difficult to follow along, Fleur gives good transitional clues, the latter two narratives have exact dates, like journal entries, and the teen years with her family are in italics. So I had no problem understanding the story structure and it was put together in a logical order.

This is a very good book.  If you’re interested in the modeling world it’s a must. It’s very eye opening and I can’t wait to see what this author writes next.


Fleur Gaskin is from New Zealand. She was an international model for six years, working in over ten countries, mainly in Asia and Europe. She has been in TV commercials, walked on runways and appeared in many magazines including Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue. She presently lives in Shanghai, China with her fiance.

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3 Responses to “REVIEW: Arabelle’s Shadows by Fleur Gaskin”

  1. Kristas Picks

    Thanks for the review! This book sounds fantastic. The modeling world isn’t really one I’ve considered much (beyond America’s Next Top Model of course). But, the book sounds fascinating. I love novels with a bit of truth and I’d totally be down with checking it out.

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Holy cats, Julie! This book sounds amazing. I don’t know a thing about the modeling world either but your review makes me want to check out this story!

  3. J. Anne Huss

    It was good you guys! It’s not a plot driven book at all, so some people don’t like that, it’s a total character driven literary story.

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