Louise came to New York eight years ago, searching for something or someone that would lift her out of the drab life she was born into and launch her towards something better. And for eight years, she has been hanging on by her fingernails, scraping by with a cheap wardrobe and an income cobbled together from a series of unfulfilling jobs. But that all changes the day she meets Lavinia. Lavinia, with her wealth and eccentric charm, moves through life easily, flitting from one glittery party to the next. Her friendship is the closest Louise has ever gotten to the life she's always wanted and she'll do whatever it takes to hold on to it... Social Creatures reads like an engrossing mash-up of Maestra and The Talented Mr. Ripley, a haunting exploration of the hollowness of our desires and the price we pay to attain them. Recommended By Lauren P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive, and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City.
They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them… They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers — to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste…
Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.
Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.
“Diabolical….A wicked original with echoes of the greats (Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn).” Janet Maslin, The New York Times “17 Refreshing Books to Read This Summer”
“Dark, stylish...Burton’s exceptional character work further elevates the tale; every individual is both victim and villain, imbuing their interactions with oceans of emotional subtext and creating conflict that propels the book toward its shocking yet inevitale conclusion....At once a thrilling and provocative crime novel, a devastating exploration of female insecurity, and a scathing indictment of society’s obsession with social media.” Kirkus (Starred Review)
“Fans of the cult classic Poison Ivy will appreciate the mousy girl-wild girl dynamic on display in Burton’s fiendishly clever debut…An ingenious dark thriller in the Patricia Highsmith Tom Ripley mode....This devious, satisfying novel perfectly captures a very narrow slice of the Manhattan demimonde.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“This fast-paced, stylish, dialogue- and character-driven debut...will definitively ensnare readers. Diabolically playing on what we think we know about others and what we reveal about ourselves in the social media age, it will give readers the creeps, too.” Booklist
About the Author
Tara Isabella Burton is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Winner of the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for Travel Writing, she completed her doctorate in 19th-century French literature and theology at the University of Oxford and is a prodigious travel writer, short story writer, and essayist for National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist’s 1843 and more. She currently works for Vox as their Religion Correspondent, lives in New York, and divides her time between the Upper East Side and Tbilisi, Georgia.
Tara Isabella Burton on PowellsBooks.Blog
“And what costumes shall the poor girl wear / to all tomorrow’s parties?” What better way to open this novel — a story in which two women use costume, social media, and parties alike to bolster their uneven senses of identity — than with these words? Dark and mournful, this is the perfect theme song for this very dark book...