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"A witty tale about a high-society wannabe...Little is more delicious than watching an ambitious but tragically flawed protagonist brought down - especially in a designer cocktail dress." -The Washington Post
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.
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APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
First-time novelist Stephanie Clifford channels her experiences as a New York Times metro reporter into a hard-to-put-down novel of manners. Evelyn Beegan graduated from an elite New Hampshire boarding school, but her life as a 20-something New York City professional is more drab than razzle-dazzle. When Evelyn lands a job as the director of membership for an upper-crust Facebook called People Like Us, she makes it her mission to penetrate the lives of the rich and famous. With its cool air of detachment, Everybody Rise offers both the pleasures of voyeurism and the thrill of a cautionary tale.
The upstart heroine of this debut novel by New York Times reporter Clifford wages a one-woman assault on the old-money snobbery of the Upper East Side, before the Wall Street stock market crash of 2008. Evelyn Beegan, a new-money 26-year-old whose social-climber mother finagled her into the right prep schools, sells her soul in order to succeed in her first job at a social networking site called People Like Us. In order to win over those at the center of the young Upper East Side elite so she can use their names on the PLU site, Evelyn uses her connections from school to wheedle invitations to Adirondack camps and charity events. She spends more money than she has and lies about her own background as she claws to the top of the social heap, shedding integrity and eventually a very nice young man on her way up. Evelyn scores big when she befriends socialite Camilla Rutherford, who gives her access to her parents' friends and prestigious charity balls, until Evelyn's deception and the expense of keeping up appearances threatens to overwhelm Evelyn. While this novel displays none of the melancholy irony of the Sondheim song for which it is named, it is an amusing page-turning beach read. But if the author is trying to suggest that after 2008, class and the UES no longer hold sway, her argument is thin.