GROWING LIP RICH by Anne Bernays


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Growing Up Rich leaves something to be desired as a novel and no doubt owes much to reminiscence. It is almost a period piece--of the '40's--and what it was like then to be the child of one of Our Crowd's chosen few. Namely an acculturated Jew, the equivalent of an anti-Semitic Semite. This is also a roman with a golden clef opening the doors to the right school (seeley--Brearley?) where you were a minority of three or four, or the right temple (Joshu-a--Emanu-El?) attended at funerals, or the right club (Harmony?) which only accepted ""clean Jews."" And you lived in a lovely house on the Upper East Side with a Calder or a Braque and winced at certain words like ""den"" or ""drapes."" During the course of this lifestyled portrait, which it really is, not much happens beyond the plane crash in which Sally's lovely, Femme-scented mother and stepfather are killed. Sally and her younger brother and their Fraulein (an ""amalgamation"" of unlovelier odors) are sent to stay in Brookline, Mass., with guardians who have ""the map of Israel all over their faces"" and a messy, even dirty, house. Ultimately however Sally will make her accommodation from what was to what is. Miss Bernays has always been an entertaining writer even if here she rather circumscribes her story to its sites. Her referrals, however, are just right and so is the tone of tribal exclusiveness and moneyed privilege which has been integrated out of existence. . . . Ladyfingers at Rumpelmayer's?

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1975
Publisher: Little, Brown