Over the eight month period of her journal, de Jour (nom de plume of Brooke Magnanti) provides an insight into her career as a high-class call girl, working through an agency to source clients whom she most often meets in hotels. She shares details of her various encounters, the dos and don’ts of the escort world, her preening rituals and obsessions with lingerie, whilst also delving into her relationships and social life.
I personally found Belle comes off a little conceited and judgemental. She turns her nose up at administrative work, of which I have made quite a reasonable living out of. At twenty-seven years of age (which is the age to which she alludes herself being) she primarily socialises with men (most of whom are ex-boyfriends) – make of that what you will. Whilst it’s refreshing that she doesn’t have any qualms about her choice of employment and often promotes safety, she doesn’t elaborate on what I imagine is the seedier side of the business nor any dangerous situations she may have found herself in, which led me to feel that she was perhaps not being totally honest or wanted to portray her role as more glamorous than it was. I expected a grittier novel than the one that I found.
To me the book was a bit of fun but I won’t be rushing to read her subsequent work. De Jour delivers wit and entertainment, even with the lingering doubts as to the credibility of her tale. If you think you’d like reading a raunchier version of Bridget Jones’s Diary then this book is for you.
“Belle de Jour is the nom de plume of a high-class call girl working in London. This is her story.
From the summer of 2003 to the autumn of 2004 Belle charted her day-to-day adventures on and off the field in a frank, funny and award-winning web diary. Now, in her Intimate Adventures, Belle elaborates on those diary entries, revealing (among other things), how she became a working girl, what it feels like to do it for money, and where to buy the best knickers for the job. From debating the literary merits of Martin Amis with naked clients to smuggling whips into luxury hotels, this is a no-holds-barred account of the high-class sex-trade, and an insight into the secret life of an ordinary woman.”