Books To Check Out: Low Life & The Overnight Socialite


“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 New York City, 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!

Low Life


Jessica Tiare Bowen
Jessica Tiare Bowen lives in the juicy Big Apple with her adorable pink-nosed chihuahua, Gillman. He's the inspiration for her first published children's book, "Park Avenue Pound Puppy." The book is the combined result of her two greatest passions: pooches and penning stories.

Her passions include art, urban hikes through Manhattan, drinking coffee with 3 creams and 6 sugars, making extremely detailed itineraries and traveling to far away places, singing along to Broadway shows, Netflix movie nights, discovering incredible treasures at Goodwill and thrift stores, and listening to stories from little people under 7 and big people over 70.

She started her career as New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching elementary school and theater arts at a special education school in the South Bronx for 6 years. She is now a Special Education School Improvement Specialist working in public schools throughout New York City. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the online New York City travel magazine, Used York City. The magazine focuses on finding the best of New used by New Yorkers. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and an ASPCA Ambassador.
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