Title: Everybody Rise
Author: Stephanie Clifford
First published August 18, 2015
384 pages, Kindle Edition
Stephanie Clifford’s debut novel, Everybody Rise, is a gripping tale set in the heart of Manhattan where the young and wealthy are fighting for social power. The novel follows the story of Evelyn Beegan, a 26-year-old product of new money, who is pushed by her social-climbing mother to enter the world of the elite Upper East Siders.
Evelyn has always managed to stay on the periphery of this world, but when she lands a job at a new social networking site aimed at her peers, she’s forced to use her few connections to rise to the top. With the help of her prep school friends, Evelyn goes from weekends in Southampton to clubs thick with socialites and Wall Street types.
But to be accepted by this rarefied set, Evelyn must be seen as someone with established old money. Her lies start small, but quickly grow, and as she relentlessly elbows her way up the social ladder, the ground underneath her begins to give way.
A modern-day Bonfire of the Vanities mixed with Prep and Rules of Civility, Everybody Rise is a must-read novel for anyone who loves a compelling story of ambition, betrayal, and redemption.
About the Author
Meet Stephanie Clifford, an award-winning journalist for the New York Times. She currently focuses on covering Brooklyn courts, but her experience goes beyond the Times.
Before joining the Times in 2008, Stephanie was a senior writer for Inc. magazine.
Originally from Seattle, she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and now resides in Brooklyn with her family and two furry friends. Aside from her journalistic accomplishments, Stephanie is also the author of her debut novel, EVERYBODY RISE.
To stay updated on her latest work, check out her website at http://www.stephanieclifford.net.
Stephanie Clifford’s debut novel, Everybody Rise, is a captivating exploration of class, ambition, and the cost of fitting in. Published in August 2015, the book is a work of contemporary fiction that follows the life of Evelyn Beegan, a young woman from a middle-class family who is determined to climb the social ladder of Manhattan’s elite.
Clifford, who is best known as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times, showcases her skill as a storyteller in this novel. Set in 2006, the book paints a vivid picture of the world of the wealthy and privileged, with its glittering parties, designer clothes, and exclusive clubs.
But it also reveals the hidden struggles and insecurities of those who seek to be accepted into this world.
The story begins with Evelyn, who works at a prestigious social networking site, trying to fit in with her wealthy colleagues and the old-money families they socialize with. She reinvents herself as “Evie,” adopting the mannerisms and values of her new friends in an attempt to belong.
But as she becomes more entrenched in this world, she realizes that the price of admission may be too high.
The novel is full of well-drawn characters, from Evie’s parents, who are struggling to maintain their middle-class lifestyle, to her best friend, Charlotte, who is both a sympathetic confidant and a ruthless social climber. The setting of New York City serves as a vivid backdrop for the story, with its stark contrasts between the haves and have-nots.
One of the strengths of Everybody Rise is Clifford’s ability to explore complex themes without being heavy-handed. The book raises important questions about identity, authenticity, and the American Dream, without resorting to simplistic answers.
The novel also has historical and cultural significance, as it sheds light on the ways in which class divisions continue to shape American society.
However, the book is not without its flaws. At times, the pacing of the story is slow, and some of the characters are not fully developed.
Additionally, the climax of the novel feels rushed and unsatisfying.
Despite these limitations, Everybody Rise is a compelling read that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. Clifford’s writing is elegant and precise, and her insights into human nature are keen.
The book is sure to spark conversations about privilege, social mobility, and the search for belonging.
Overall, I would highly recommend Everybody Rise to fans of contemporary fiction, particularly those interested in exploring issues of class and identity. While the book is not perfect, it is an impressive debut from a talented writer.
I give it a score of 8 out of 10.