Happy Friday! Let’s celebrate!!! BlueBootsGo is hosting its very first GIVEAWAY in honor of National Book Month in October, and you’re invited! We are giving away a hardcover copy of Stephanie Clifford’s NY Times best-selling book, Everybody Rise, that I review below.
Here’s 2 easy ways of how you can enter for a chance to win:
- “Like” this blog post, Follow here on Where the BlueBoots Go for more awesome adventure content, and Join the conversation by sharing your absolute favorite book in the comment section below.
- Follow me on Instagram @nini4nana, Like my Instagram post announcing this contest, and Join the conversation by sharing your absolute favorite thing about NYC in the comment section using the #EverybodyRise4NationalBookMonth.
You’re golden. That’s it!
The contest will be live now from October 2 to October 12, 11:59 pm EST. Winners will be announced here on the blog & on Instagram October 18, 2015!
Curious about the book?? Read on for my review and a few samples of this great read!
I’d been hearing about this title for some time and then, just like that, it jump-started my foray back into reading for pleasure.
“Everybody Rise” is a novel set in the heated moments before the economic crash of 2008 in New York City. The star: Evelyn Beegan, age 26. Once rejecting the constant litany of words, abrasively pressed onto her, by her mother to associate with the right people, Evelyn’s experience is an exhilarating ride up the social ladder. Often, I would wonder at the learned skill of a craftswoman who cattishly but perhaps even unknowingly adopts the language and trade of her social superiors until she becomes one of them, and yet other times I would groan at the mishaps, the mistakes, and losses that come at great cost and result in an emotional and social pile-up where relief seems impossible. Evelyn represents a young professional, today’s working woman who is just starting out, and is far from perfect, but in appearances, seems increasingly glossy until the source of the built-up shine and appeal quickly and quietly cracks to reveal the truth beneath. We see a glimpse of the makings of #WhatIWore and the #ootd posts – the marques of her 2008 world, Ferragamo, pearls, and “Lilly” – which, today, one might imagine, would have been hashtagged appropriately online to match all the thousands in credit card debt Evelyn racks up.
Some may critique, some may acclaim, but I have to say that I’m impressed with the artistry in this modern title. The pace of Evelyn’s new world seems to swallow her up as the chapters progress. Often compared to the works of Edith Wharton, “Everybody Rise” aligns the pace of the language and words with the momentum of the plot and thus carries a reader along. The author, Stephanie Clifford, a Seattle native, Harvard graduate (for all our local Boston-area friends), and now a journalist and reporter for The New York Times has covered a number of different beats. It’s refreshing for fellow writers to see one of their own stretch comfortably from one medium of reportage to another, zooming in on a dramatic period of time for which Americans still feel the repercussions and with social themes that are still very much relevant today.
Here are a few choice passages to whet your appetite:
Clifford ends chapters well.
Of course the inhabitants of this world, she thought, would constantly change the rules of their race. (42)
When Evelyn went downstairs in her dress, her mother’s shoulders were back and her eyes were fierce, and on the car ride over Barbara talked about how Sally’s garden had become infested with aphids this year. Somewhere between Evelyn’s room and the front door, her mother had heard a cue, and she had remembered her lines and taken the stage. Their conversation would be left in the wings; it had nothing to do with their assigned parts. (86) —
What a metaphor. She also sets a stage…
She would stay there for a long time sometimes, quietly braiding the fringe of his rug as she listened to him scribble on his yellow pad. (78)
…and dresses her characters.
Her shoes would already hurt; they were meant to be accessorized with a car and driver. (192)
Her descriptors of sights and sounds of people are on point.
Evelyn’s face constricted. (242)
Don’t say ‘what’; you sound like a duck. I’ve spent all my life raising you and tending to your father, and what’s my obituary going to say? (243)
Camilla crinkled her eyes at Jaime in a way Evelyn hadn’t seen before; she seemed softer, as though the top coat of nail polish had not been put on. (250)
Clifford also uses quick turns of phrase and biting language when appropriate to set the social barometer.
‘Preston, pay attention, would you? I thought your mother could mention that I’m helping with the Bal Français.’ His eyes locked on to hers and Evelyn felt a surprising jolt of fear. ‘I am paying attention,’ was all he said, and then he turned to talk to the adults. (257)
She describes the character’s neuroses accurately.
Evelyn alternated between leaving her phone at full volume…and turning it off so that she wouldn’t be distracted by waiting for him to call back, but in either case she stared at the phone like it was a bomb. She turned it on, and off, and on, and off, and no new missed calls or voice mails came up. (277)
Perceptive language makes the book relatable as well.
Was he lonely? Was he happy? Would he even know the difference? (335)
People react and interact, develop, and the puzzle pieces change shape and no longer fit together with a satisfying snap. (350)
Q: I’m always curious about the inspiration behind the characters. As a person who has dabbled in writing, blogs currently, and would LOVE to write short pieces for a living one day, I also know that some characters are a blend of real people we know and the imagined. Are Preston and Evelyn inspired by people you know, or personalities crafted that someone reading it could think, “that sounds a lot like me!”
A: I pulled from real life here and there, of course. But in my day job, I’m a reporter – I cover courts for the New York Times – so the characters here actually are almost entirely fictional because it was a relief to be able to make things up!
Q: The title – Everybody Rise – I would love to know what you have in mind. When I think of it, several options come up, but the power of a title to start to tell a story, or grab a reader, begs the question. Thanks so much!!
A: The title is from one of my favorite songs, Stephen Sondheim’s “Ladies Who Lunch,” but also gets at that crazy pre-financial crisis time in New York when there seemed to be endless money and opportunity.
Now, don’t you want to enter to win a copy of this book and read?! Celebrate #NationalBookMonth. If you’ve read “Everybody Rise,” I’d love to hear what you think, too!