Four ultrachic New York women try to cope with being in their 40s.
“She was wearing a purple and black Marc Jacobs maxidress with motorcycle boots and a fur scarf. In August. She looked like Lori Goldstein doing a Steven Meisel shoot for Vogue.” For some readers, descriptions like that are a luscious treat. Others can recognize only two of the proper nouns: "August" and "Vogue." Readers in the first category are going to love this book, whose narrator, Lucy, is an ex-model with a journalism degree married to a very famous and quite-a-bit-older artist. (As she confides to her mother, “He drinks deer blood for his virility.”) Suddenly finding themselves past their it girl expiration dates, Lucy and her three best friends are having a bumpy summer, though they continue to eat and drink their way through Per Se, Il Buco, Bar Pitti, and Kappo Masa, staying slim by attending yoga classes taught by Uma Thurman’s younger brother and celebrating their birthdays by getting papaya enzyme vagina facials. The gang includes Billy, another ex-model, now pursuing a career as a cuisine celebrity; Sarah, an aspiring socialite with a PR team who is desperate to get on a reality show called Under the Plaid Skirt, about New York private-school girls all grown up and mean as ever; and Lotta, a drop-dead-gorgeous Swedish party girl/downtown art dealer who doesn’t realize she’s too old to do ecstasy and coke every night. Bensimon’s (I Can Make You Hot, 2012) debut novel makes excellent use of her background as a model and the former editor of Elle Accessories, and she’s not a bad writer, either. The dialogue is funny, and a plotline involving a mysterious blogger who’s terrorizing all of New York is intriguing and twisty.
One woman’s Azzedine Alaïa is another woman’s what-the-hell-is-that. You know which you are.