Book Review: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: Doubleday
Publishing Date: June 05, 2018

To begin with, this kept me up beyond midnight. It began in the morning, took over my lunch, I grudgingly put it down to get non-book life things done but as soon as the evening opened up, I was stuck right back in until it was over. Lavinia and Louise were a particular kind of disaster that you know is coming and instead of looking away, you crane your neck to see and hear more.

I felt both women were desperate and damaged in different ways and that concoction was so toxic that there was always going to be something that sent them into the depths. That ultimately it was a man that hastens that was a bit predictable but made sense given Lavinia and Louise. I never quite knew how much of Lavinia and Louise's damage were how many parts self-indulgent or DSM verifiable. As such, they quite ruined any moment of sympathy I held for either but they were undeniably riveting. The Upper Eastside landscape was well done with people as vivid as the parties at which they found themselves. As it happens, Mimi and Hal scared and creeped me out more than anyone else. All things considered, Cordey was the best of the bunch and I'll be wondering about Elizabeth Glass for a while. Also a compliment to Burton on her rather lush prose which upped the enjoyment.

In not trying to give too much away, because it's really worth reading and I definitely recommend it (especially for those who enjoys looks at class in the current day). This felt to me like a blend of Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford, Highsmith's, Ripley and an episode of the ID channel's true crime program, The 80's: The Deadliest Decade featuring the murder of Kirsten Costas.

I received a free galley of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Summary:  If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Louise Wilson is an expert at just barely making it. She's mastered the tricks and shortcuts that a penniless small-town girl needs to survive in New York City. When she meets the beautiful, wealthy, eccentric and aimless Lavinia Williams, she thinks her dreams of a cosmopolitan existence may be coming true. Lavinia introduces her to a rarified life of beauty and indulgence: private opera boxes, secret bookstores in brownstones, Shakespearean masked balls, underground cabarets, closets full of hundreds of dresses, and the finest champagne money can buy.

The more Louise tastes, the more she wants. Could she ever truly be a part of this world? She can speak with the right affectation, wear the best makeup, drop the appropriate references, but she is always afraid people can see her true nature, which is darker than anyone can imagine. She finds herself haunted by the disparity between them. Lavinia has so much, and Louise so little, despite her yearning. Nightlife--the music, the buzz, the dim lights--is the great equalizer. But morning always comes, and Louise will do whatever it takes to keep the party going. This delicious debut takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it undeniably modern.

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