☆••*´¨`*•.☆•• 4 stars ☆••*´¨`*•.☆••
It’s 2006 in the Manhattan of the young and glamorous. Money and class are colliding in a city that is about to go over a financial precipice and take much of the country with it. At 26, bright, funny and socially anxious Evelyn Beegan is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto the Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she’s forced to embrace them.
Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family’s downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way.
Bracing, hilarious and often poignant, Stephanie Clifford’s debut offers a thoroughly modern take on classic American themes – money, ambition, family, friendship – and on the universal longing to fit in.
Everybody Rise is a wonderful read. An interesting piece of literature and social commentary, and like Edith Wharton, author Stephanie Clifford gives readers a pitiful interloper to hate and love.
Evelyn Beegan and her mother, Babs, are social climbers. Evelyn has never felt like she fit in, and Babs has always been desperately trying to be accepted in the next rung up the social ladder. I didn’t “get” Dale, Evelyn’s father; I couldn’t decide if he was brilliant and obtuse or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I digress as the story is really about Evelyn.
Evelyn gets wrapped up in her job at a super elitist version of Facebook and slips into the “it” crowd of the uber-wealthy of New York. She doesn’t have the means to keep up with this crowd, and while her father’s career is tanking, she becomes takes on every bad habit known to mankind as the role model for how not to manage your life.
At first, I thought this book was a trite, superficial story about the lovely upper socio-economic class that all of the little people wish to be like. It was all that in a way, but the book became much more interesting when I realized it was really a commentary about the ridiculousness of those superficial, elitist socialites and the stupidity of their hangers-on/wannabe friends. Evelyn was much more interesting after her comeuppance and free fall to a subpar-existence from her private school upbringing.
Evelyn’s story in Everybody Rise is an engrossing slow-motion train wreck that you cannot look away from. Keep reading as the figurative body count rises and Evelyn’s life sinks into a deeper and deeper hole. In the end, you’ll see Everybody Rise as a brilliant, four-star read.