Monday, July 21, 2008

Gilding Lily by Tatiana Boncompagni

ISBN: 978-0-06-145101-0
Publisher: Harper Collins
Paperback: 320 pages
Genre: Fiction (Women's Fiction)
First Line: Sweeping up the main staircase of the Ludwig Collection, the Upper East Side cultural landmark and ultimate beneficiary of that evening's Spring Showers-themed fund-raiser, Lily Grace managed to ruin what would have been a perfectly splendid entrance by stomping on the hem of her sea green silk gown and falling down in the middle of the stairs.
One Word Review: Sumptuous
Tentative Release Date: September 2008

One would think that Lily Bartholomew has it all - the right husband, the right NYC apartment, the right connections, and a baby she adores. Then, why does everything seem to be falling apart at the seams. Catty New York society 'friends,' an even cattier mother-in-law, a dwindling bank account, and an often absent husband are just some of the hurdles that Lily faces as she attempts to reclaim her social standing as a Top Girl.

To be honest, when I first started this book, I had some preconceived notions. I figured it would be a lot of glitz and glamour with little substance. I'm happy to say that I was completely off the mark. Tatiana Boncompagni's (say that three times fast) first novel is genuine and well-written, witty and also compassionate. I loved Lily. She was real and honest, not perfect, but completely believable. Her insecurities and feelings of doubt in the face of not-too-subtle insults from the socialites and her monster mother-in-law, had me rooting for her from the beginning. At times, I felt I would have liked to see a little more backbone in her confrontations, but I think her actions were true to the character Boncompagni created.

Reading Gilding Lily was like being a fly on the wall of all the biggest events of high society. It was a completely decadent and voyeuristic experience,. Being so far removed from that sort of life, it was was fascinating being able to slip on those thousand dollar shoes for a while and see how the other half live.

Tatiana Boncompagni has truly outdone herself in this wonderful debut novel.


Kathleen said...

This isn't something I'd normally pick up. I'll check it out, and I love the cover art :)