Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2015. 371 pages. Reading Group Guide. Recommended Reading. ***
Evelyn Beegan is twenty-six-years-old and trying to escape her privileged background and to reinvent herself in New York City. Her mother is a social climber and has pushed and pulled Evelyn into the world of prep school and the "right" social circles. Evelyn always felt like an outsider and didn't quite fit into her mother's world or that of her peers. Evelyn's perspective changes when she lands a job at a social-network start-up aimed at the elite. Evelyn decides to capitalize on her social connections to infiltrate the world of old money and to pass herself off as being wealthy and independent. Her mother is thrilled and willing to supplement her new lifestyle and to guide her in her latest endeavor. Evelyn tells so many lies that she begins to believe them herself and ignores her huge credit card bill and rent obligation. Alone and desperate, Evelyn is forced to evaluate her choices and what's important in life.
Initially, Evelyn comes across as an independent, ambitious woman, but soon gets caught up in a materialistic, shallow lifestyle. It is really hard to feel sympathetic to her when she thinks that she is above it all (work, rent, paying her bills) and seems annoyed by the mundane task of earning money. Looking for someone to bail her out gets old and the book seems to drag and belabor her situation. It could be my perspective, but I didn't find the plot compelling or entertaining. Clifford holds promise as a writer and it's an easy, beach read.
I received a copy from BookSparks for a review.
Stephanie Clifford covered courts, business, and media as a New York Times Reporter. A Harvard graduate who grew up in Seattle, she now lives in Brooklyn. Everybody Rise is her first book. Visit her website at www.stephanieclifford.net.