Rich Boy

Sharon Pomerantz, Author
Sharon Pomerantz, Author . Hachette/Twelve $24.99 (517p) ISBN 978-0-446-56318-5
Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Open Ebook - 978-0-446-57198-2
Open Ebook - 287 pages - 978-1-60941-600-3
Paperback - 520 pages - 978-0-446-56319-2
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Pomerantz digs into notions of class and wealth in her debut, chronicling the upward strivings of a middle-class Jew as he loses himself in the strange world of the fabulously wealthy. Blessed with good looks and a bright mind, Robert Vishniak dreams of escaping his Philadelphia neighborhood. His first stop is Tufts, where, in 1965, he rooms with Sanford Trace, the rogue son of a wealthy family. Robert tags along with Trace and his buddies, who introduce him to Smith College girls, fancy clothes, and New York State's elegant Tuxedo Park. Family ties become strained as Robert is seduced by beauty and privilege, attends law school at NYU, and sinks into a cushy law firm job. Much of the narrative is structured around Robert's relationships with three women: Gwendolyn Smythe, a Brit with a terrible secret; his wife, Crea, the daughter of his law firm's founding partner; and Sally Johannson, a shoeshine girl from his old neighborhood. More a soap opera than an excavation of the spiritual malaise of the wealthy, the novel will satisfy those looking for an easy-reading saga with an intriguing, complicated hero at its center. (Aug.)

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