Friday, December 7, 2012


Bronwen Hruska's novel is an entertaining tale of life in the fast lane at a high income private school in Manhattan.
Sean's son attends Bradley School, the elite academy in Manhattan. Sean's in-laws are paying the hefty tuition and Sean is trying his best to be a single father as his wife Ellie has departed in need of a break from reality. As he is told repeatedly that Toby is causing trouble and needs medication, and Sean relies upon Toby's new teacher for insight and feeback about behavior he considers to be the norm for a boy his age. Eventually his initial misgivings give way, and he decides to medicate his child in order to control Toby's behavior.  Turns out that the Bradley School has a reputation - albeit a secret one- of doing just this to many of their male students.  In fact, parents almost expect it, feeling that they are paying a lot of money for great results and want to maximize their child's attention on school work.
Although children are often overdiagnosed (in my opinion) and medicated, Hruska's novel takes this to an extreme, providing a bit of humor for readers. She also throws in a few famous faces- Bill Clinton hitting on Sean's date at a party they attend- to create an atmosphere of wealth and glamour.
I love novels that center around the wealthy and their over-the-top lifestyles.  Other read-alikes include Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn or The Darlings by Cristina Alger.

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