Last Night at Chateau Marmont
Brooke was drawn to the soulful, enigmatic Julian Alter the very first time she heard him perform “Hallelujah” at a dark East Village dive bar.
Now five years married, Brooke balances two jobs—as a nutritionist at NYU Hospital and as a consultant to an Upper East Side girls’ school, where privilege gone wrong and disordered eating run rampant—in order to help support her husband’s dream of making it in the music world.
Things are looking up when after years of playing Manhattan clubs and toiling as an A&R intern, Julian finally gets signed by Sony. Although no one’s promising that the album will ever hit the airwaves, Julian is still dedicated to logging in long hours at the recording studio. All that changes after Julian is asked to perform on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno—and is catapulted to stardom, literally overnight. Amazing opportunities begin popping up almost daily—a new designer wardrobe, a tour with Maroon 5, even a Grammy performance.
At first the newfound fame is fun—who wouldn’t want to stay at the Chateau Marmont or visit the set of one of television’s hottest shows? Yet it seems that Brooke’s sweet husband—the man who can’t handle hot showers and wears socks to bed—is increasingly absent, even on those rare nights they’re home together. When rumors about Brooke and Julian swirl in the tabloid magazines, she begins to question the truth of her marriage and is forced to finally come to terms with what she thinks she wants—and what she actually needs.
Author Lauren Weisberger interviewed on LAST NIGHT AT CHATEAU MARMONT
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Reading Group Guide
The very first time Brooke spotted the scruffy, soulful Julian Altar perform “Hallelujah” at a crowded bar in Manhattan’s East Village, she knew those full-body chills she was feeling meant two things: this guy was destined to be a star, and she desperately wanted to see him again. Five years later, Brooke and Julian are happily married, and Brooke is working two jobs as a nutritionist to support her husband as he plugs away on his first album and dreams of hitting it big. But when an appearance on the Tonight Show propels Julian to overnight stardom, Brooke soon discovers that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. With her husband increasingly absent, the tabloids speculating endlessly about their relationship, and her self esteem in shambles (she’s no supermodel, after all), Brooke must decide if she and Julian can reclaim the happy, honest relationship they once had – or if her days with the music scene’s new “It Boy” are numbered.
Questions for Discussion
1. At the very beginning of the novel see more