Everbody Rise is about a young girl with working class roots who grows up resisting her mother’s attempts at giving her a chance at the good life. Then she suddenly gets sucked into the same crap she has always made fun of. And in doing so wrecks her life.
Evelyn Beegan went to Sheffield, an elite prep school, and made two real friends, Charlotte and Preston. Preston Hacking comes from old money and provides Evelyn an entry into some elite circles. Her new job requires her to sign up A-list people and she tries to mimic their actions to get into the inner circle. She soon finds herself lying to invent old family connections and history, and spends much beyond her means to keep up with a glitzy lifestyle.
After reading about 20% of the book, I realized that things would not go well for Evelyn. You can see her getting caught in the mire, and you can only watch, or read, helplessly as she digs a deeper pit for herself. She ignores her family troubles holding her parents responsible for a reversal of fortune. All she cares about is seeing her name and photo in the society pages.
Will the character of Evelyn ever redeem herself? That is what I was thinking of while reading the book. Although I wasn’t very taken with the story, I got pulled into turning the pages just to see what desperate thing the character would do next. Even after 80% of the book, we find the character blaming the hopelessness of life in New York, or the struggle to belong, or just plain survive. It seems that the city is painted as the culprit here for being too demanding or too unforgiving, and the elites are also blamed because they are supposedly doing the same things that the up and comers are trying to do. Only, these supposedly rich WASPish people control who to invite into their circle and who not. I can’t say I really blame them.
If a cafeteria worker has the freedom to decide whom to invite to his/ her party, so should the rich and famous.
All the reader can hope is that the character finally accepts some blame for herself. After all, being a social climber can be a conscious choice, as long as you don’t blame the world for labeling you such.