September 13, 2015

Everybody Rise

Everybody Rise
Stephanie Clifford


(September 13, 2015)

A wicked satire of social media marketing, as a Evelyn Beegan, a young and underqualified ex-preppie, is hired as director of recruitment by a Facebook clone for the ultra-elite, “People Like Us.” This is in many ways this is an odd and antiquated book, centered on a marriage plot and fixated on Old Money in New York; the book knows it – one character excoriates Evelyn for chasing a social scene out of Edith Wharton – but doesn’t know what to do with its own knowledge. Evelyn desperately wants to shed her upper-middle-class Baltimore background to be accepted by people who have inherited Camps in the Adirondacks and Cottages at Newport, to run with the bright young things who are the children of the Ladies Who Lunch. In that frantic pursuit, she loses herself, becomes a monster, and then (perhaps) finds a future of sorts.

It’s 2008, the bubble is about to burst, and those bright young things are all in banks and hedge funds: change is in the air but nothing really changes.