Gwen and Philippa both grew up in small town Massachusetts, solidly middle class. They took very different paths – Gwen went to an Ivy League school, married a lawyer, and hustles to live comfortably in New York; Philippa got out of their small town, did some modeling in Japan, and married a millionaire. Philippa’s life is certainly more lavish than Gwen’s, but they both inhabit the same Upper East Side preschool orbit.
Though Gwen knew Philippa as a child, they don’t really hang as adults. Gwen is making meatloaf and mittens for her daughter while Philippa is drinking heavily and being chauffeured around. They hang in their own separate circles until a new mom comes to school. She is intent to make her mark on Upper East Side society and when Gwen realizes who her husband is, she doesn’t doubt they’ll do anything to make that happen. Meanwhile, Gwen’s husband Dan is putting together the pieces of an insider trading scandal that will connect all three families.
I’ve seen many a novel that covers the gossipy UES lifestyle, but this seemed to dive into the characters a bit more. It doesn’t feel like a rom com. Most reviews/descriptions of this book make it seem like the interaction of these characters is frequent and interesting when, in fact, the infrequent interaction is what makes it most interesting. How these women all grew into totally different mothers, but mothers all the same, makes for a unique societal study. And the men! All of them self-loathing with entirely different consequences makes for fascinating and infuriating characters. I can’t stand Gwen’s husband, Dan. Gross.
4 out of 5 stars.
Best Paired With: Vodka on the rocks with a splash of grenadine.