Maybe it's because I had my head buried deep in the uptight rigmaroles of the British monarchy for so long that I found myself sucking up Holly Peterson's new beach read, The Manny, like a glitzy piña colada after a solid diet of dry sherry. The author sent it to me for a blurb, and I approached it with misgiving, but hey, I recognized those Park Avenue moms she writes about from my years of dropping my daughter off at private school in Manhattan. They're the ones who leave their limos idling on the curb outside during parent-teacher meetings and throw out in conversation that they are "wheels up" at 3 p.m. to show off they are flying private. The Manny's narrative is less relevant than the true eye Peterson has for the details of the way the rich whine: the heroine's husband in a permanent rage that the housekeeper has moved his stuff and the fashionable pundit at every Park Avenue dinner party bloviating about the Middle East were two exactitudes I relished. Compared with the camouflaged motivations of the British upper classes, the narcissism of the American rich as depicted here is refreshingly resolute.
Brown is the author of The Diana Chronicles.