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One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

2 Ratings: 2.5
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1 review about One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

Real Estate is the New Black

  • Oct 28, 2008
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Real Estate is the New Black

This novel, One Fifth Avenue, gets its name from the Art Deco building in New York's ultra-hip Greenwich Village. Living there has a certain status to which the middle-aged main characters aspire. In "Sex and the City" it was shoes. In this book, it's real estate.

Mindy Gooch is the building's board president. She's a bitter blogger, whose husband, James, writes a commercially successful novel. Schiffer Diamond is an actress who has a relationship with a fellow tenant, a Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning author, Philip Oakland. Philip's Texan aunt, Enid Merle, is an 80-something gossip columnist; and the woman who has turned Philip's head is a schemer named Lola Fabrikant (what a name!) The designated bald, gay man is Billy Litchfield and the designated beauty queen is Annalisa Rice, who gets a strong lesson in the social rules of One Fifth Avenue. As a host of characters come and go (a LOT to keep track of particularly at first), the story is filled with competition for success and sexual tension and ultimately pulls together. There are philosophical generational conflicts (middle-age characters are "snobby," and 20-something characters are "without conscience") coupled with the age-old conflict of old and new money.

Like Candace Bushnell's previous books, it's more about colorful characters than good writing. I believe both "Sex and the City" and "Lipstick Jungle" made better television series than books and my guess is the same is true for this title. 3.5 stars. 

One Fifth Avenue

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