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How Perfect Is Thatby Sarah Bird
Synopses & Reviews
WHEN YOU'RE PERFECT, YOU CAN'T FALTER...
Because if you do, the piranhas will get you. Blythe Young, Austin socialite, has two secrets she can't allow to escape: she's actually high-flying trailer trash, and her divorce left her penniless. Before becoming Mrs. Henry Trey Biggs-Dix III, Blythe owned the exclusive catering company Wretched Xcess, and for the second time she's determined to fake it 'til she makes it — passing off warehouse club taquitos as Petites Tournedos Bearnaise a la Mexicaine and relying on her own private concoction of Stoli and pharmaceuticals as a substitute for sleep.
But then a blabber-mouthed accountant puts the IRS on Blythe's trail at a most unfortunate moment — just when her catering staff turns vicious about missing pay, and a garden party of Austin belles sniffs out the Crisco in the pate. There's no option except to cut and run. Blythe's been ducking calls from her friend Millie for over a decade, but now Millie is the only person with a heart big enough to take her in. So, just one step ahead of the law, Blythe sputters in on fumes of gas to the fleabag co-op boarding house at the University of Texas where the two met and that Millie still runs.
What do you do when you hit bottom? Sharing a bathroom again with anyone — let alone computer geeks and white Rasta wannabes — wasn't in Blythe's game plan. But in a time when both new and old money can turn into no money before you can say Jimmy Choo, Blythe's story is a morality tale for the new millennium as, with the help of her reluctant housemates, she faces down the creme de la creme of Austin society one last time, and by doing so finds the way out of her own ethical quagmire.
In HOW PERFECT IS THAT, Blythe finds herself broke, divorced, and running from the IRS after 10 years at the top of the Austin social ladder.
Sarah Bird takes on Austin high society in this critically acclaimed, hilarious comedy of manners in which a newly divorced heroine eventually comes to realize what matters most in life.
In social satirist Sarah Bird’s seventh novel, Blythe Young is happily immersed in Austin society after she marries Trey Biggs–Dix, naively signing a strict prenuptial agreement insisted upon by her mother-in-law. But when that same mother-in-law lands a better catch for her son ten years later, Blythe, now thirty-three and childless, is unceremoniously dumped. Penniless, desperate, but determined, Blythe finds herself taking refuge at Seneca House, the housing co-op where she lived a decade ago in college. There she encounters her old college roommate, the sweet Millie Ott, one of the many friends Blythe shucked off during a frenzy of social climbing.
Before long, Blythe comes face to face with her past sins and dubious moral choices, and under the unlikely tutelage of Millie, the eternal optimist, Blythe is finally able to discover the path to real happiness. Combining the wicked humor of David Sedaris with the hip, trendy style of Lauren Weisberger, this fast-paced, and sharply observed tale is a comic triumph of a novel.
Blythe Young--a wannabe Texas princess, a heroine as plucky, driven, and desperate as Vanity Fair's Becky Sharp--is plummeting precipitously from up- to downstairs, banging her head on every step of the Austin social ladder as she falls. Not unlike the country as a whole, Blythe has surrendered to a multitude of dubious moral choices and is now facing the disastrous consequences: bankruptcy, public humiliation, a teensy fondness for the pharmaceuticals, and no Pap smear for ten years. But worst of all, she is forced to move back into the fleabag co-op boardinghouse where she lived when she was a student at the University of Texas.
Though Blythe cares much more about the ravaged state of her nails, and how to get the ingredients for Code Warrior--Blythe's proprietary blend of Stoli, Ativan, and Red Bull that keeps everything in focus--her soul is hanging in the balance. Only when she is in danger of losing the one friend who's been her true moral center is she ready to face her sins and make amends.
And her penance is merciless: she must find a way to lure her former socialite friends into the tofu tenement she has been reduced to. Little does Blythe know that the ensuing collision between the pierced, tattooed, and dreadlocked inhabitants and the pampered, Kir-sipping socialites offers the only hope of finding a way out of her moral quagmire.
Funny, fast-paced, sharp-eyed, an old-fashioned morality tale with an appropriately twenty-first-century ending, How Perfect Is That is a comic triumph of a novel.
About the Author
Sarah Bird lives with her family in Austin, Texas, where she performs her own material regularly at the Hyde Park Theatre. She is the author of six previous novels, including The Flamenco Academy and The Yokota Officers Club.
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