From Publishers Weekly
Witchel (Me Times Three
) returns to the romances of Manhattan's upper echelons in this Gawkeriffic potboiler. Ponce Porter passed up college and left Harding, S.C., to try New York as an aspiring young model and quickly ended up married to Lee Morris, a very wealthy TV producer almost 40 years her senior. Childless by choice and bored, Ponce enrolled in NYU and then law school, eventually settling at a prestigious firm. Cut to the now-widowed Ponce—now 42 and dubbed The Spare Wife for her ability to gracefully attend social functions with any and all of upper New York—locking lips in a Chicago hotel with the happily married celebrity fertility doctor Neil Grossman, where she's spotted by Babette Steele, an aspiring 25-year-old assistant at the prestigious Boothby's Review
. Babette knows she has the breakout story of her career, but Ponce and her delightfully crafted cast of friends aim to spoil Babette's feast. Witchel's drama-filled portrait of 40-something socialites in the Paris Hilton era has scandalous affairs and social to-dos to spare. It's extravagant and shallow, closely observed and entertaining. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Witchel plumbs the shallows of celebrity journalism in this nimble look at the high stakes involved when covering high society. Among Manhattan’s glitterati, wealthy divorcée Ponce Morris is a rarity among trophy ex-wives: she’s adored by her female friends for her entertaining elegance and by their husbands for her genuine interest in sports and politics. Indeed, her loudly proclaimed aversion to romance or remarriage makes her the most sought-after companion in town. But when ambitious young editorial assistant Babette Steele catches Ponce in a passionate embrace with happily married Dr. Neil Grossman, fertility doctor to the stars, the possibility of a glitzy magazine scoop exposing Ponce’s hypocrisy seems like Babette’s ticket to media mecca. Siccing everyone from a private eye to her personal trainer on Ponce’s trail, Babette fails to consider the strength of Ponce’s social connections nor her zealous talent for self-preservation. Thanks to New York Times lifestyle reporter Witchel’s insider knowledge of media machinations, this spry and pithy satire bursts with nipping, sardonic humor. --Carol Haggas