UYC’s Book Club: The Overnight Socialite

Guys, can you believe we’re four months into this whole NYC-inspired book club thing?!  I’m so glad we went with an easy breezy chick-lit pick for this month, as it was perfect reading for those handful of days we had that were actually sit-on-a-bench-in-Central Park worthy!  (Not that we had THAT many, hence the perfect quick read!)

“The real story here isn’t about society scandal.  It’s about reaching the summit–achieving a dream–the good, old-fashioned New York way: by any means necessary.”

The Overnight Socialite starts with the glittering backdrop of NYC, speckled with ladies who lunch, trust fund twenty-somethings with outrageously big personalities, and charity galas galore.  Add in a few classic characters and you have yourself a twenty-first century story of unlikely love.

The Overnight Socialite

The leading lady in this tale is Lucy Ellis, a Manhattan transplant who has big dreams of making it as a fashion designer, but toils away on the assembly line of a Garment District sweat shop.

“It’s a law of New York City: no matter how much money you’re making, you’re surrounded by people making more.”

Enter Wyatt Hayes IV, charming, spoiled, and need I say bored out of his mind anthropologist who has just dumped Manhattan’s leading Queen Bee socialite, Cornelia Rockman for being too superficial (gasp!), and makes a bet with his BFF and multi-millionaire (but of course), Trip, that he can turn any ordinary girl on the streets of Manhattan into the next It-girl (social experiment disaster waiting to happen?), and voila!

Right at the moment he makes this bet, Wyatt runs into Lucy on a rain soaked Park Avenue right after she’s fired from her job, and promises that if she go along with his little experiment, he’ll connect her with fashion industry insiders to make her designer dreams come true.  Tiny little thing he leaves out: that he’ll be writing about her transformation in his latest social experiment anthropology book, appropriately titled “The Overnight Socialite.”

“Of all the wildlife I’ve observed–and my fieldwork has taken me to every continent–the most bizarre creatures on the planet are socialites on the Upper East Side.”

Going back to my opening, this is a fun, light-hearted, guilty pleasure kinda read that would make a fabulous companion on your beach blanket this summer!  From Loubies to Manolos to Chanel-everything, there’s brand dropping galore, accompanied by all the swanky spots these $700+ shoes are worn to ($12 cup of coffee at Nello’s, anyone?)

I appreciated how the story’s supporting characters were fresh and funny, and how the ending of the book is not at all what one would expect, especially given that the chick-lit genre is usually happily ever after, no exceptions made.  This story ends happily, just not in the ways you would expect.  And for that, Bridie Clark has made a loyal reader out of me.

Have you read The Overnight Socialite?  What did you think?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!


For next month, we’ll be reading Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York by Luc Sante, so download, buy, or check it out from your local library now!  You absolutely don’t have to be based out of NYC to participate…in fact, the more variety we have in voices, the better!  (That’s me cheering you on, yay!)

Low Life

Since this book is a little on the thick side, we decided to go over the usual month with it.  We will be hosting this book discussion and posting about it on Monday, July 7th, and would LOVE to have you guys join in on the discussion!  Between now and then, please join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag:


Who’s in?!  Let us know in the comment section below!


By: Jessica Tiare Bowen