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02 April 2010

Book Review: The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark

Title:The Overnight Socialite
Author: Bridie Clark
Publisher: Weinstein Books
Publication Date: December 16, 2009
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN: 978-1602860827
Genre: Fiction


About the book

"Didn't we meet in Capri last May?" Lucy continued, saying each word cautiously.

"Yes!" Wyatt stopped in his tracks. "Yes!" It was the first time she hadn't pronounced the name of the island like those unflattering three-quarter length pants. "Go on, go on!"

In this beguiling retelling of the classic Pygmalion, we meet Lucy Ellis, a Manhattan transplant who dreams of making it as a fashion designer but instead toils away on a Garment District assembly line. Road-blocked each time she tries to score a break, Lucy is beginning to think the unthinkable: maybe it's time to pack it in and move home to Minnesota. Then, during a torrential downpour, at her most bedraggled and disheartened, Lucy meets Wyatt Hayes IV.

Wyatt -- man-about-town and bored Ph.D. anthropologist -- has just been publicly dissed by New York's reigning socialite, Cornelia Rockman, whom he'd been dating. He boasts to his best friend Trip that he can transform any woman -- even a trailer-born nobody like Lucy -- into this year's "It" girl. "Give me a few months," he tells Trip, "and I could turn her into a social luminary. She'll make the rest of the pack look like dim little tea lights." If Wyatt can fool the East Coast aristocracy into thinking Lucy's the real deal, he can reveal the farce behind Cornelia's social superiority complex . . . and score a career-boosting book deal.

Headstrong Lucy challenges her teacher at every turn, but armed with a made-up pedigree and a wardrobe costlier than most studio apartments, she's soon navigating a world in which the most photographed socialite takes all. Can Lucy survive in a wilderness where no girl wears the same gown twice, the Astors are considered Johnny-come-latelies, and weddings are more lavish than the coronation of Louis XIV? Will she forge the connections needed to make a name for herself in fashion? And can she surmount the schemes and suspicions of her newfound rival, Cornelia?

Three months of rigorous prep and test runs culminate in Lucy's showdown at the Fashion Forum Gala, where she and Wyatt confront the ne plus ultra of society . . . and their unexpected feelings for each other. But the gaps between them -- as well as Wyatt's secret agenda -- may make this improbable couple an impossibility.

Set against the gold-plated world of Manhattan's social elite, The Overnight Socialite puts a witty twenty-first-century spin on a timeless story of transformation and unlikely love.

My Review:

In her novel, The Overnight Socialite, Bridie Clark takes the reader into the fashion world and into the upper echelon of New York in a fun modern day rendition of My Fair Lady with Lucy Jo playing the part of Eliza Doolittle and Wyatt Hayes IV the modern day Professor Higgins. Clark weaves together a witty tale with a cast of characters the reader can identify with, sympathise with or dislike, depending on the situation and the character. I am not one for fashion, so a lot of the names meant nothing to me, however the storyline is an interesting one and Clark's twist on a classic is . Lucy Jo wants to be a fashion designer, but is not getting far and is ready to give up. Wyatt Hayes IV is an anthropologist who hails from old money, has recently parted ways with Cornelia, the top socialite, and finds he needs a challenge, thus the story begins. While The Overnight Socialite as not for me, I believe there are may who will indeed enjoy this novel of the rich, wealthy, and beautiful. Clark's twist on this classic tale is charming, witty, and makes for a light an fairly amusing read.

About the Author:

Bridie Clark graduated from Harvard University, and has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, New York, and Quest. Her debut novel, Because She Can, was published in nineteen countries. She lives in New York City.

For more information, view Bridie Clark's Website.

I received a complimentary copy of The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark from FSB Media. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Ellen said...

I read this book & it was amazing! Of course, I'm really into clothes too LOL. Sorry you didn't enjoy it.


Jennifer said...

Hi Ellen,

I did not dislike it, I often found the novel witty. here simply was not a connection between me and the book, however, I believe many will adore this novel.


Deb said...

I just received this book to read and review. Thanks for your review.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I have this one to review as well - thanks Jennifer for the reminder.... sometimes books just get on the TBR pile and while I am anxious to read them, they get lost in the shuffle. I will need to pull this one out soon!

Aths said...

I will probably be starting this one sometime today or tomorrow. Sorry it wasn't so great for you. I am a clothes lover, but just not into brands or fashion names .. so not sure how it will work for me. said...

I finished this book today and loved it, you don't have to be into clothes to enjoy it but I guess the fact that Lucy is a not so confident character (easily patronized) might be a bit annoying at times . I love old movies and this book has that kind of charm said...

I finished this book today and loved it, you don't have to be into clothes to enjoy it but I guess the fact that Lucy is a not so confident character (easily patronized) might be a bit annoying at times . I love old movies and this book has that kind of charm