Everyone yearns to belong, to be part of the “in crowd,” but how far are you willing to go to be accepted? In the case of bright, funny and socially ambitious Evelyn Beegan, the answer is much too far… At 26, Evelyn is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto New York’s glamorous Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she’s forced to embrace them.
Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family’s downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way.
Being part of the Summer Reading Challenge 2016 has really enlightened me to a world of authors that I had never heard of earlier but had been writing books while I was looking the other way. Stephannie Clifford is one of those authors. While Everybody Rise is this author’s first book, she’s been a writer for quite some time.
About the book: It’s 2006 and 26-year-old Evelyn Beegan is seeking to establish her place among the New England elite, in spite of or because of her social-climbing mother. Evelyn’s mother has always pushed Evelyn to be with the old monied elite, starting by sending Evelyn to an elite prep school. As readers will learn, it does seem possible for Evelyn to reach her goal, but with each fumble, unfortunately, it seems less probable.
Evelyn uses her connections from prep school for invitations to Adirondack camps and charity events. She is spending more money than she has and lies about her background as she tries to claw her way to the top of the social heap. While headed on this path “up” the ladder, Evelyn loses her integrity and eventually, she also loses a very nice young man on her way.
I have to say very honestly that I was rooting for Evelyn along the way, but I knew deep down that there was definitely a trainwreck headed down the road. In fact, I’m actually surprised she wasn’t actually kicked out of her apartment sooner – she kept that facade going much longer than I thought she would.
There were some fun parts in here and lots of sad parts. I mean come on – $65,000 on your credit cards? Wow, where do you turn when they’re that high and your life is falling apart? Everybody Rise shares with readers exactly how Evelyn lost friends, family, and her dignity, just to be in with the “in crowd”. Once she was one of the elite and was eventually found out by her “new friends” that she wasn’t who she said she was, Evelyn realized exactly who her true friends were.
This was a great debut novel by Ms. Clifford. You can definitely see Ms. Clifford’s background as a journalist in this novel, especially the way she has done her homework involving the history and the details of this particular social class and time. Everybody Rise was a quick read and would be fun to bring along on vacation or a day at the beach!
About the author: Stephannie Clifford is a novelist and a journalist. For eight years, she was a New York Times reporter, covering courts, retail, and media. She left full-time work at the Times in February, and splits her time between writing her second novel and journalism. She continues to write for the Times, along with other publications. Before writing for the Times, Stephannie was a senior writer at Inc. Everybody Rise is her first novel, and was an instant New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Pick, a best book of the month at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and a best book of summer at People, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, and Goop. Fox 2000 bought movie rights, with the producer of Devil Wears Prada and Twilight producing. You can catch Stephannie on her Official Website HERE, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!
I received a complimentary paperback copy of this book from the publishers and BookSparks as part of the 2016 Summer Reading Challenge in exchange for this post, which is my honest review and unbiased opinion.
Keep checking out BookSparks’ Summer Reading Challenge 2016! There are so many more books you’ll want to put into your beach bag! This is going to be the “best summer ever.” #SRC2016 #BestSummerEver #BestSRCEver!