Billed as a roman à clef, this first novel by the Kleier trio (who star in HGTV’s reality show Selling New York) seems more of a recitation of trendy brand names, trendy shops and restaurants and the trendy New York City residential real estate coveted by Big Apple movers-and-shakers.
The lightweight narrative chronicles the adventures of the Chase family, Elizabeth, the mother, and Kate and Isabel, daughters who work with their parents at Chase Residential, "a wildly successful boutique agency." The authors (mother and daughters) are real-life Manhattan residential brokers. They know multimillion-dollar locations, and they know people willing to bid above asking price for the view: "After irritating Elizabeth for months with his indecision and almost daily phone calls, the exasperating Bart Schneider finally opted to buy." They know co-op boards want to see financials and will demand dogs take the freight elevator. The Chases also recite every brand name coveted by those who earn seven figures, from Jimmy Choo to Badgley Mischka. The plot is minimal. Kate worries about an on-again/off-again relationship with a can't-find-himself boyfriend. Teddy Wingo, a womanizing, high-producing Chase broker, conspires to join a rival firm. Then there is Isabel's enigmatic client, Delphine, the trophy wife of a count, but any reader not bedazzled by Möet Chandon will decipher that mystery before the next power lunch at Balthazar. Much of the narrative moves via cell phones or chauffeur-driven Mercedes, or while shopping at Saks or Bergdorf or over a lunch of pollo patanato at Sette Mezzo. Countless names are dropped—everyone from Billy Joel to Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones—and doubt Page Six fans will be amused to see doppelgängers in cameo appearances.
Ungaro, Chanel, Nina Ricci, Poggenpohl and Sub-Zero do not great storytelling make.