Monday, May 17, 2010

[Book Review] THE OVERNIGHT SOCIALITE by Bridie Clark


Andrea King reviews THE OVERNIGHT SOCIALITE by Bridie Clark (Weinstein Books, 2009)

In this modern version of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, we encounter Lucy Jo Ellis, a Minnesota native who has moved across the country to Manhattan. Lucy Jo dreams of being a fashion designer and she has a heart of gold. But, it seems every time Lucy gets a leg up in the industry she suffers major setbacks and heartache.

Enter Wyatt Hayes, IV. His name alone sounds regal, doesn't it? Wyatt is a Manhattan native with a doctorate in anthropology. He is tired of just being an arm to New York’s reigning socialites. Bored with being the man-about-town, Wyatt is looking for a project.

Lucy Jo meets Wyatt and his billionaire best friend, Trip, while waiting on a taxi during a terrible thunderstorm. In an effort to score a major book deal, Wyatt boasts that he can transform any girl into the next “It Girl.” As Wyatt tells Trip, “Give me a few months… I could turn her into a social luminary. She’ll make the rest of the pack look like a dim little tea lights.”

Quicker than you can say, “The rain in Spain…” or in this modern version, “Didn’t we meet in Capri in May,” the bet has been set and the stakes have been raised. Tempers flare and tensions rise. As the paparazzi begin to love the new and approved “Lucia Haverford Ellis,” the claws and insecurities of others come out.

Set in the most glamorous, utterly elite circles of Manhattan, where no girl wears the same gown twice, Clark gives readers amusing characters who feel the need to impress from the outside. Sooner than later, everyone realizes that true beauty comes from the inside.

This is a hilarious second novel from novelist Bridie Clark, who also wrote Because She Can--a story about the cut-throat New York publishing industry.

Andrea King, Poplar-White Station Library

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