cover image Perfectly Impossible

Perfectly Impossible

Elizabeth Topp. Little A, $24.95 (314p) ISBN 978-1-5420-1867-8

Topp’s fizzy debut novel (after the coauthored Vaginas: An Owner’s Manual) hilariously pulls the curtain back on what it’s like to be the assistant to an über-rich Park Avenue matron. For two decades, Yale-educated artist Anna has worked three days a week for Bambi Von Bizmark—“Kissy V. Bizmark” to friends and the press. The fabulous news that she and her husband are to be honored at the New York City Opera Ball sets off a series of events, from a plumbing mishap to a VIP’s party foul, that will upturn the lives of Anna and the myriad support staff required to keep the exacting Von Bizmark family happy. The author draws on her own experience as an assistant in showing how Anna deals with the outsized demands of the rich and aspiring-to-be famous, from flying in exotic food, drink, or flowers from around the world at a moment’s notice, to juggling competing demands for use of the family jet, to arranging a private fireworks display. Fortunately, Anna’s nascent artistic career saves the day for the fund-raising component of the opera event when a renowned artist who was going to donate his work for auction is arrested for tax fraud. Topp leverages her behind-the-scenes view of the Bizmarks’ milieu and Anna’s trade for some entertaining, biting satire. The author’s gifts for humor and drama make this an engaging lark. (Oct.)