The loss of innocence, the death of beauty, and the price of success
Seventeen years ago, Iris was forced to abandon Gus, the love of her life, and her career as a top model in Paris. She has created a new life for herself and her daughter, Lou, in California. However, when the news of Gus’s unexpected death reaches Iris, her tenuously reconstructed life is thrown into chaos. A celebrated art and fashion photographer, Gus has left his estate to Lou, with one condition: Iris must travel to Paris and recover a missing collection of his work.
Iris soon discovers that she’s not the only one after the photographs. An old enemy is staking claim to them, and a notorious tabloid is threatening Iris with brutal—and very private—images of her past life. To protect her daughter from scandal, Iris needs to confront the demons that caused her to flee Paris, her career, and her life with Gus.
Iris embarks on a suspenseful journey through the closed world of the fashion industry, where the beautiful people do ugly things.
Will she expose the industry’s dark side and shameful secrets? Can she shield her family from the consequences?
Wildchilds is a work of fiction based on the truth.
Praise for Wildchilds
“If fashion photographs could talk, and felt like telling the truth, you’d have Wildchilds—an accomplished and compelling first novel by a true insider. Only Eugenia Melian knows every side of that world of beauty, sex, greed, and lies, starting as a model, becoming a leading photographer’s agent and a force in Paris fashion and culture of the eighties, nineties and two thousands. With cool passion and great suspense, she denounces the cowardice of those men who manipulate the most beautiful women in the world. Melian tells the story of Iris, the daughter of a famous magazine editor exiled to New York, who becomes a model in Paris and falls into love and peril. Melian’s descriptions of the steamy rise of sexual attraction on a fashion shoot are matched only by her exquisite, enchanted descriptions of a dark and secret Paris unknown to visitors.”
—Joan Juliet Buck, author of The Price of Illusion,
editor in chief of French Vogue 1994–2001
“Eugenia Melian is a natural storyteller. I was always blown away by the many amazing stories she told me about, during her many years in Paris as a model and respected photo agent. Eugenia is a true insider, and she always seemed to know everybody! Her first novel, Wildchilds, will take you beneath the surface of the beautiful and seductive fashion world. It immerses you in a captivating dark tale where young beauties coexist with master manipulators. Wildchilds is a window into a world inhabited by many that don’t want to be exposed. Get on board, Wildchilds is a wild ride!”
—Peggy Sirota, photographer/director