I started to read Everybody Rise immediately after finishing Shogun (James Clavell). Shogun was an epic story and I loved it, and I wasn’t sure how Everybody Rise would fare following such an amazing classic.
I needn’t have worried for this debut novel, because it was an addictive and brilliant story, and I very quickly forgot all about Shogun.
Everybody Rise tells the story of Evelyn Beegan, a young woman who has spent her life fighting against her mother’s desire to be one of society’s finest, but ends up chasing that very same dream. She tells lie after lie in her bid to become socially accepted by New York’s elite, and as she grows more ruthless and selfish in her pursuits, she becomes more entangled in her stories and everything around her begins to crumble.
This novel is a page-turner. I wanted to read at all times of the day, and finished it within three. I planned my days around when I could read for just five more minutes, yet I was reluctant to finish it.
The characters were cleverly portrayed and well-written; the dialogue and interactions between them were so very real. I liked Evelyn and then I loathed her; I loathed Camilla (Evelyn’s glamourous new BFF) and then I liked her. I felt everything Evelyn was feeling – when her long-time friend Charlotte discovered how badly in debt she was, my stomach started to churn and I felt nervous and anxious for her. When she betrayed her lovely boyfriend, Scot, and then lied to him about it, I was angry and sad all at once. It’s a powerful book that makes the reader feel so much, and Everybody Rise took me by surprise in that respect.
I expected Everybody Rise to be an easy, light-hearted read, and it is, but it is also so much more. Funny, insightful, clever, witty and dramatic, it encapsulates the world of those with money – and that of those without – perfectly.
And there is embossing on the cover. I love embossed covers.
Huge thanks to Hachette New Zealand for my review copy.