Monday, February 9, 2009

The Ivy Chronicles - Book Review

The Ivy Chronicles
by Karen Quinn
Viking Books 2005

Still on the subject of Chick-lit, I found another book that turned out to be very enjoyable. This is the story of Ivy Ames, a Park Avenue (Manhattan) socialite with a failing marriage who works for the Japanese Myoki Bank as a Vice president of some stature.

Ivy's husband had lost his job a year earlier, and at the beginning of this book, he still has not found another job. This is why Amy has to work.

In Chapter One, Amy is downsized from her job and when she gets home, she finds her unemployed spouse busy being employed by the wife of the man who used to be Amy's bank boss. So they both get kicked out.

Then in Chapter 2 Amy has to downsize her finances, her spending and her luxury life. To make things worse, Amy has to now think about downsizing her Park avenue apartment, and taking her two daughters out of their exclusive private school, and putting them into "gasp" public school.

On to Chapter 3 where, one of Amy's rich friends needs some help. She wants Amy's help to get her daughter into an exclusive private kindergarten. After Amy is succesful in getting the girl accepted at a private kindergarten, the idea is mooted that maybe Amy can make a living at this.

Amd so the real fun starts in chapter 4. Amy tells the reader everything about how to be a private kindergarten consultant. What to do and what NOT to do. So Amy starts advertising for clients. She charges the uber-rich clients $20,000 and the ordinary rich clients just $10,000.

The rest of the books covers Amy's transition from uber rich to middle class and how she dealt with her clients. The clients range from a young single mother with a charning son who is well behaved, to a widowed mafia mobster, to spoiled parents with spoiled and not-so-spoiled children.

While it is not as funny as the Shopaholic books, this book is certainly an eye-opener into how the rich and famous like to live and behave, especially when it comes to their children and education.

I actually enjoyed this book. I read it more or less straight through in 8 hours. The author, Ms Quinn, did use to be a private kindergarten consultant herself, so she knows what she is talking about.

And guess what. This book is already in movie production, tentatively starring Sarah Jessica Parker, with a tentative release date of 2010.

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