The Adirondacks have actually lengthy been a rustic playground for the rich. This is indeed the situation for the personalities in Stephanie Clifford’s deyet...

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Sep 01, 2016 — The Adirondacks have long been a rustic playground for the rich. This is indeed the situation for the characters in Stephanie Clifford’s deyet novel Everybody Rise.

It is May 2006. The novel opens on a reunion weekfinish at an elite boarding school. Evelyn Beegan is a 26-year-old alumna. She is attfinishing the reunion on a kind of hidden mission for her new job—a marketing gig at an invite-only social netfunctioning website dubbed People Like Us. (Think Facebook for the uber-rich.) Evelyn’s hunting for new members, and her fellow alums are prime targets. These people are living it up in private equity’s gold age. One girl explains Bernie Madoff as a “genius,” while a hedge funder sums up his nightlife as “models and bottles!”

In her continuing search for members, Evelyn bounces ago and forth between her tiny Manhattan apartment to acquaintances’ beach residences in the Hamptons and also camps in the Adirondack village of Lake James. Many kind of North Country readers will certainly identify Lake James as a barely-veiled Lake Placid. These components created fun reading. The architectural and also landscaping details of the historical camps are vivid, and also Clifford’s description of how the genuine Lake James is obtainable only by private drives felt prefer a wink to in-the-know readers.

Evelyn’s top middle-course background renders her an outsider in the moneyed Lake James crowd. Clifford writes: “ constantly afraid of utilizing the wrong fork… or making some other mistake that she wasn’t also aware she was making.” Evelyn distracts herself by courting a potential People Like Us member, New York City socialite Camilla Rutherford. Clifford writes: “It was not so a lot Camilla Rutherford’s looks, which were pretty, or her body, which was toned and long limbed and moved elegantly. It was that Camilla Rutherford was eminently comfortable.”

Evelyn’s burgeoning friendship via Camilla requires a hefty initiation fee—new clothes, dining out, aesthetic upkeep, the works. I felt a sickening dreview through eexceptionally swipe of among Evelyn’s many kind of credit cards. As Evelyn sinks better right into debt, the only pay-off is a calendar full of benefits and also charity occasions.

Stephanie Clifford is a New York Times reporter, extending service and also media. Her attention to information occasionally drives this novel of manners right into Moneyround territory; it’s for the better, as she tackles both the emotional and also economic consequences of relentmuch less striving. Evelyn’s human being is a microcosm of the looming financial collapse: when she dips a toe into the pool of debt, submerging herself to the neck is basic.

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During a rerotate pilgrimage to Lake James, Evelyn gazes at a duck mounted on the wall of a private club. Clifford writes “ couldn’t aid thinking of its last moments, flying boldly over the still lake, thinking he was safe and totally free.” This is Evelyn’s minute of conscience: realizing the correlation between excessive wealth and also the propensity for destruction—of civilization, things, and places—regularly through impunity.

The question of whether Evelyn’s epiphany kind of will certainly collection her on the course to redemption kept me involved until the end. But after witnessing Evelyn’s despeprice climb, my investment in her success was hardly a done deal.