"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Social Crimes by Jane Stanton Hitchcock

Social Crimes is about a wealthy, spoiled and completely naive woman name Jo Slater. Jo marries a wealthy older man that promises nothing other than financial security. Despite the parties mingled with the elite of New York, Jo claims to be so much more grounded and humble. She is not. When her gluttonous wealth is stripped away, Jo's life becomes one pathetic attempt after another to regain the life she once possessed.

Now broke, overweight and gasp.....middle class, Jo finds herself so consumed with bitterness and anger that she begins obsessing how she can both regain her wealth and social status and quench her thirst for revenge against the woman who stole it all out from under her, the Countess. Her arch nemesis, The Countess Camille De Passy, has basically stepped into Jo's role as New York's social lioness.

This is a story that plays as the ultimate revenge, but instead it becomes so much more....or less depending on how you look at it. The story moves at a quick and interesting pace. I was never bored but I was never amused either. Even though Jo Slater is supposed to be the heroine of the story, I found her to be pathetic, naive, shallow and utterly shameful in her attempts to regain her wealth. She never aspires to be anything more, just a rich woman with a lavish lifestyle. I don't think anyone is supposed to actually feel sorry for her or like her. Good. I don't. The antagonist, Camille, becomes the more interesting and diabolical character. I like her. She may be a cold blooded creature but at least she has a plan that works...for the moment anyway.

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