But to be clear, we had nothing against her.
We actually really liked her.
We really, really liked Philippa Lye.
Philippa Lye – the it girl – has long been a subject of fascination and intrigue among the New York Mommies of St. Timothy’s preschool. Philippa always appears to have it all, but beneath the designer brands and perfect looks, she holds a deep secret.
Mummy never polishes her nails because it reminded her of when she had to wear nail polish for a living.
Gwen – the scholarship girl – proudly totes her little Mary to preschool despite the dirty looks and sneering mouths. She knows Philippa from long ago, and every minute Gwen gets closer, she threatens to topple the house of cards.
And it all went downhill from there – if you can imagine that there was still any vertical distance to descend.
Minnie – the new girl – seems to be shallow through and through, but there is a sharpness to her that neither Gwen nor Philippa are prepared to handle. She just might be enough to spark an explosion.
They felt they deserved what Philippa had gotten.
Meanwhile, Gwen’s lawyer husband has set his sights on both Minnie’s and Philippa’s spouses – and he is nothing, if not relentless.
To repeat, we had nothing against her. In fact, we all really liked her….At the same time, you have to admit that she was an anomaly.
Whew. An absolute whirlwind!
Watching these women circle each other, the husbands circle each other, the drama of the New York Mommies just waiting for a kill – definitely a page-turner.
I really enjoyed Gwen’s point of view – she felt very down-to-earth among the affluent and snobbish upper class.
Also (and this is a bit unusual for me) – I really liked Mary and the other children! I feel like the author did an excellent job of portraying the kids without leaning into the precocious (aka annoying).
In addition, seeing the parents interact with their children really rounded out this story for me…that and lines like this:
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck this fucking fuck!”
Cause who hasn’t had a recipe gone wrong and only one word strong enough to summarize all that frustration!?
The one thing that threw me out of the book time, and time again…was the inner dialogue.
We have at least 4 main with 3 minor perspectives…and yet all of their inner dialogue would digress into this:
..for some reason, I don’t know…God, I don’t know what’s wrong with me – bluhhh! I wanted her to know my name. I wanted to make a connection with her. I wanted – I wanted her to remember me.
Essentially, there’s a lot of words but not much being said. . .
To me, that really detracted from the drama and the intrigue of the story. Every time we went round and round with the inner monologue, I felt myself pull a little bit away from the story.
All in all, I liked this one. Really enjoyed the mystery of Philippa Lye and I am itching to find out what happened after the last few pages!
“Jed?” she repeated. “She will sacrifice you if you let her.”
With thanks to Little Brown and Company for a free copy in exchange for an honest review
All quotes are from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon publication