Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
Published by: St. Martin’s Press
Published on: August 18, 2015
Page Count: 384
My Reading Format: Audiobook provided to me by the publisher for consideration.
Audiobook Published by: Macmillan Audio
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Audiobook Length: 12 hours 45 minutes
Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook
Summary from the Publisher:
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.
Evelyn Beegan has been pressured by her mother all of her life to seek to increase her own social status. While this isn’t something that she initially wants for herself, she finally pursues those she sees as her social betters to make her mother proud. Unfortunately, she begins to believe her own hype. Her lies and her mindless pursuit of status catch up to her in a fantastic way. It is at this point when this novel got under my skin, making it apparent to me just how much I fear being buried in debt. For a few days, as Evelyn’s life spun further and further out of control, I was having mini panic attacks on her behalf. It was like being in a nightmare that doesn’t get better immediately when you wake up. There was a point when I considered calling this audiobook for my own mental health. While this may not sound like a recommendation, I can’t remember the last time I got this caught up in a character’s plight.
Katherine Kellgren, who is well suited for novels such as this, gives a passionate performance in Everybody Rise. I could sense her enjoyment of bringing these characters to life. I especially liked what she did with some of the more extravagantly named society dames such as Souse and Push. Her dramatic flair certainly ramped up my adrenaline, especially when Evelyn was confronted by each and every one of her accusers along the way, including Camilla Rutherford, the woman Evelyn most wanted to be.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was drawn in to what seemed like a superficial story about masquerading as someone born and raised in the upper echelons of society. First, there were references to Hollins University, one of my alma maters. Then it had me evaluating my priorities and values. Similarly to my reaction to watching an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive, it became essential to identify and eradicate any Camilla Rutherfords in my life. Everybody Rise will entertain you and might even prompt you to clean house.