** spoiler alert **
Don't let the cover fool ya: this isn't a Gossip Girls ripoff. No siree. This is by Natalie Standiford, author of How to Say Goodbye in Robot
, which moved me profoundly. And like that book, this one has certain insights you just don't get from most authors.
The premise makes the book sound kinda predictable and silly, and I have to say, I did guess the ending. But it's the journey that makes up the bulk of the book. The mean old matron of an idly rich Baltimore family, who everyone calls "Almighty," declares on Christmas day that one member of the family has done something to disappoint her terribly, and unless she gets a written confession and apology by New Year's Day, she's cutting the whole family out of her will. Well, these people get all their money from this woman, so if she cuts them off, they're as screwed as the rest of us. And unfortunately, the three Sullivan daughters have all done some pretty questionable stuff lately.
So they each write up a confession: straight-laced Norrie ran away from her debutante ball to go to New York with her (25-year old black hipster artist NO NO NO THAT'S BAD NORRIE) boyfriend. Rebellious Jane started a blog where she dishes on old family secrets. And sensitive Sassy has convinced herself that she's responsible for Almighty's husband's death.
The confessions are all really interesting, and each girl has her own distinct voice. Their wealthy lifestyle isn't glamourized; the girls just sometimes seem naive because of their privilege, like when Sassy's friend warns her that tutoring at a school downtown could be dangerous. But they're all real people, not Monopoly-money Gossip Girl stereotypes. I thought Norrie's adventure was really sweet, too. Some people seem to have a problem with the age difference between Norrie and her boyfriend, but hey, I was doing that kind of crap when I was her age. I still am, but I'm of legal age so no one cares. It happens, and it's not creepy and wrong.
I'm definitely recommending this to chicks, either ones that want something girly or Rich Bitch book addicts that I think I can steer towards better literature.