Throw together an introvert, a wealthy party girl, New York City, and a whirling social scene and you have the makings of the frenetic book. Louise Wilson meets the whirlwind Lavinia Williams and the two hit it off and embark on adventures, parties and hook ups that are reminiscent of the roaring twenties where anything, and I do mean anything goes. Their relationship is a catastrophe, one where they, particularly Lavinia, seem to be on a never ending path for self gratification. Louise “loves” Lavinia, well really not her as much as her lifestyle, and as Louise is drawn further and further into the mayhem, she develops the uncontrollable desire to be just like Lavinia. The parties, the booze, the drugs, the sex all combine to provide a life of pandemonium where she will discover havoc and disorder in everything.
Their world is reminiscent of the world once inhabited by Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald where what you wanted you did, when you drank you did so to excess, and the rules were never followed. It was a story that blasted full steam ahead to what might eventually become a fracas. Their lifestyle predicted disaster for there is never anyone that can fill the hole you create in your life when your life becomes one big party and that party seems like it will soon end.
This was certainly a not for everyone book as it takes you on a journey that is maniacal, obsessive, and frenzied. Each page is filled with wired characters who booze it up, drug it up, and sex it up trying to fill a gaping hole that existed in their persona. No one will probably come out a winner here but they believe that the fun, frolic, and high life will guarantee them their lives will never be humdrum. They are the thrill seekers who will never reach their thrill quotient even if they die trying. “It was a train wreck happening right in front of me and I couldn’t do anything about it, except that not only was I watching, I was also the train.“
TARA ISABELLA BURTON is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Winner of theShiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for Travel Writing, she completed her doctorate in 19th century French literature and theology at the University of Oxford and is a prodigious travel writer, short story writer and essayist for National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist’s 1843 and more. She currently works for Vox as their Religion Correspondent, lives in New York, and divides her time between the Upper East Side and Tbilisi, Georgia. She is also at work on a nonfiction book on cults. Her first novel, Social Creature, is forthcoming from Doubleday in June.