If you’re a little bummed that your summer months of sandals and cold lemonade have abandoned you and you now have to bundle up against the wind, Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam may soothe your wounded soul a bit.
You will meet Sarah, an Upper East Side girl, and Lauren, her best friend since grade school. The novel’s name comes from an overheard remark made by one boys to another: “You take rich. I’ll take pretty.”
Sarah is the daughter of a policy wonk of some renown (with obligatory jabs at his Republican politics). Lauren was a scholarship student at Sarah’s private school, an ordinary mortal from (gasp!) New Jersey. But these two women have seen each other through their playground years, their black-nail-polish-and-diary-writing years.
Now they are mature women. Sarah lives in an almost mom-and-pop familiarity with her fiance, a solid citizen whose appeal escapes Lauren. Lauren toils in the publishing industry, fitting in flirtation when the opportunity presents itself. We can thank her for the fact that this book is less than squeaky clean.
This is a curiously flat read. You get a front-row seat to Sarah’s wedding planning woes, to a Caribbean weekend for all the bridesmaids. You get to eavesdrop as Sarah and Lauren walk down the street, their heels making satisfying clicks on the New York sidewalks.
Hints of drama creep into these scenes and you wonder: will Friend A blow up at Friend B over some breach of loyalty? Will somebody unearth a scandal that will topple the famous?
But the ride is just . . . smooth.
Some books are unbearably suspenseful. That’s why we call them nail-biters. Rich and Pretty is so tension-free it just might cure nail-biting.
Pinky swear: via Visualhunt