Monday, October 6, 2008

One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

I wasn't a huge fan of Ms. Bushnell's previous books, including Sex and the City. While I liked the tv show, I didn't love the book (which is rare for me... I normally like the book better). However, I saw this book while I was in New York and it sounded like something I really enjoy, and it was. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
One Fifth Avenue, the Art Deco beauty towering over one of Manhattan's oldest and most historically hip neighborhoods, is a one-of-a-kind address, the sort of building you have to earn your way into--one way or another. For the women in Candace Bushnell's new novel, One Fifth Avenue, this edifice is essential to the lives they've carefully established--or hope to establish. From the hedge fund king's wife to the aging gossip columnist to the free-spirited actress (a recent refugee from L.A.), each person's game plan for a rich life comes together under the soaring roof of this landmark building. Acutely observed and mercilessly witty, One Fifth Avenue is a modern-day story of old and new money, that same combustible mix that Edith Wharton mastered in her novels about New York's Gilded Age and F. Scott Fitzgerald illuminated in his Jazz Age tales. Many decades later, Bushnell's New Yorkers suffer the same passions as those fictional Manhattanites from eras past: They thirst for power, for social prominence, and for marriages that are successful--at least to the public eye. But Bushnell is an original, and One Fifth Avenue is so fresh that it reads as if sexual politics, real estate theft, and fortunes lost in a day have never happened before. From Sex and the City through four successive novels, Bushnell has revealed a gift for tapping into the zeitgeist of any New York minute and, as one critic put it, staying uncannily "just the slightest bit ahead of the curve." And with each book, she has deepened her range, but with a light touch that makes her complex literary accomplishments look easy. Her stories progress so nimbly and ring so true that it can seem as if anyone might write them--when, in fact, no one writes novels quite like Candace Bushnell. Fortunately for us, with One Fifth Avenue, she has done it again.

I love reading about New York society, and seeing how the "other half" lives. I find it quite humorous in what some of these people think are real problems that are worthy of worrying and being all stressed out about. What $8,000 pair of shoes they should wear to the next event, for example. However I will admit that I do fantasize about what it would be like to live like that. I loved the characters in this book, and while there were quite a few, they were easy to keep straight. Ms. Bushnell delves into each character enough that the reader gets the oppourtinity to know what is going on in their heads. I also love New York, so reading about it is a great pleasure. The only negative thing I can say about the book is that the ending felt rushed. I read some other reviews on Ms. Bushnell's books and those reviewers all said the same thing. That being said, it was a good read and much better than I expected.

Up next is my last library book I have. I feel like I haven't read one of my own books in forever, so I am looking forward to getting through it. I don't have the book in front of me, but I know it is by Jennifer MacMahon, I believe. I hope to get into it right now. Our fridge broke sometime yesterday and we had to throw away everything. This is putting a damper on my mood and as I wait for the repairman to give me a call, I hope a good book will be able to booster my mood. Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Jill said...

I just read and reviewed this, too...and I agree with you. I didn't like her previous books either, but I thought this was a smart and fun read.