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Countergirl gets fab new job at beloved jewelry store, but beware: the richies have claws.

Karasyov and Kargman display a frighteningly accurate, up-close and personal account of Manhattan’s bloodless blue-blood upper-crust. The girl they’re throwing to the wolves is Julia Pearce, from California but now living the fun twentysomething life in the East Village and working the counter at the Tiffany-like Pelham’s. When she’s summoned to deliver a priceless necklace to a fashion mag photo-shoot for Lell Pelham, daughter of the store’s owner—the powers that be don’t trust those evil p.r. lackeys not to leak anything to the gossip pages—Julia catches Lell’s eye with her effortless fashion sense and smarts about jewelry. In a device so unlikely and manufactured that the authors almost seem embarrassed to include it, Julia is then made their newest project. Before Julia knows it, she’s been bumped upstairs to Creative and is getting invited to all the swank benefit events and weekends in the Hamptons that she could ever have dreamed of. But there’s trouble brewing in Lell’s circle of private-school friends. First, there’s Polly, a heartless wench of a control freak who has laser-sighted vision for people’s weaknesses and is convinced that she can make Julia into the season’s hottest young thing—a girl’s got to keep busy, after all. But Julia soon discovers that newlywed Lell is having an affair right under the nose of Will, her husband, whose anger leads him to try to seduce Julia. On the sidelines is Oscar, a sickeningly wealthy Bill Gates type who sees Julia as so much more authentic than all these other boring swells and who just may be her knight in rumpled chinos. Karasyov and Kargman lather the pages with the designer goods and trends that keep these ADD socialites going, but don’t try to invest any of it with too much importance.

An airy soufflé that, to its credit, never overreaches.

Pub Date: April 12th, 2005
ISBN: 0-7679-1780-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Broadway
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2005


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