Title: Chasing Diana
Author: Jack & Robin Firestone
Publisher: Lightning Source (Div. of Ingram Book Co.) (Sept. 2008)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Suspense
Perfect for : Personal Reading, Possible Book Club Read
In a nutshell: Inspired by a true story. The story was a nice quick read (once you get used to the screenplay format). I wish I knew exactly what was fact and what was fiction - the authors have presented quite a story of intrigue, including crooked French officials, assassins, and reporters willing to hound a family into giving an interview. It was a quick page-turner, and I did ultimately really enjoy the screenplay format, which helped me visualize the scenes happening throughout the book. My only complaint is the amount of cursing in the book - I really could have done without it.
From the Back Cover:
Cleverly written as a "screenplay novel," Chasing Diana is historical fiction at its finest. Initially inspired by the events they witnessed in Paris during the early morning hours of August 31, 1997, Robin and Jack Firestone's compelling narrative does much more than shed new light on that late summer evening when one of history's brightest flames was extinguished forever.
Using a unique mixture of truth and fantasy, Chasing Diana is a parable for our times. Vicariously told through the eyes of lead characters Rhonda and James Goodrich, Chasing Diana is the remarkable story of how a princess' death rips a closely knit family apart... and the healing process which ultimately unites them.
A real page-turner from start to finish, replete with mystery, adventure, intrigue, irony, and the idiosyncrasies of the human condition... that's the unforgettable reading experience of Chasing Diana.
The book begins with the Goodrich family going to Paris for a vacation. While there, they accidentally take an incriminating photo of a pair of assassins, then end up in the tunnel where Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed are killed in the famous car crash. Concerned that an accidental flash of their camera may have contributed to the crash, they keep the photos under wrap.
With the assassins still pursuing them, and now the added hassel of the papparazi trying to get pictures and interviews of the family, they must make it home and adapt to a new life in the spotlight.
This gripping story kept me interested from beginning to end - I just wish there wasn't as much swearing - I always feel that bad language cheapens things!
Characters: The characters were colorful and kept me entertained. Not to sound like a broken-record, but I wish that James hadn't been quite as vulgar and "bad" (drugs/alcohol), although I guess that just makes him stronger when he chooses to overcome those issues to become closer to his wife. Rhonda was a nice character, and I really enjoyed Ben - what young adult doesn't dream of being in the center of attention?
Story-Line: The story line was interesting and fast-paced, keeping my attention throughout the book! I actually didn't want it to end.
Readability: I struggled in the beginning with the screenplay format, but ended up really enjoying it.
Overall: A page-turner from start to finish, the story is fast-paced, filled with intrigue and action. I loved the ending, which keeps readers on the tips of their toes! While I could have done without the cursing, I did enjoy the book, and had a hard time putting it down once I picked it up.
About the Authors:
Jack and Robin Firestone witnessed the tragic crash of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed in the tunnel in Paris, August 13th, 1997. As the only Americans to witness the crash, they have become celebrity personalities here in America. Earlier in the year they were asked to return to London to give their testimony to the Royal Courts of Justice. They wrote Chasing Diana, a fictionalized story inspired by what they lived through in Paris and America.
If you are interested in learning more, please visit one of their sites: http://www.chasingdiana.com/ and http://www.chasingdiana.blogspot.com/