Gilding Lily [NOOK Book]


In this delicious new novel, Tatiana Boncompagni creates a heroine everyone will love...and no one will ever forget.

As Lily Bartholomew navigates kiddie birthday parties starring chart-topping entertainment, society dinner-dances where any woman larger than a size 2 can barely stand to show her Botoxed face, and vacations to exclusive hideaways with the mother-in-law from hell, she constantly wonders, "On what planet have I landed?"

After all,...

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Gilding Lily

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In this delicious new novel, Tatiana Boncompagni creates a heroine everyone will love...and no one will ever forget.

As Lily Bartholomew navigates kiddie birthday parties starring chart-topping entertainment, society dinner-dances where any woman larger than a size 2 can barely stand to show her Botoxed face, and vacations to exclusive hideaways with the mother-in-law from hell, she constantly wonders, "On what planet have I landed?"

After all, she's just a down-to-earth gal from suburbia who felt as if she'd landed in the middle of a fairy tale when she married Robert. He's handsome, rich, and—best of all—able to make her laugh, and she happily jumped headfirst into his world. But now Robert's lost his job, Lily hasn't lost her pregnancy weight, and their once-golden existence seems suddenly tarnished.

Desperate to regain her self-esteem, Lily begins writing essays about life among the rich and snobbish, which tosses her into the spotlight and in the path of social disaster. But as Lily navigates her way through the shark-infested waters of Manhattan society, she starts to rediscover her own place in the world—and how to regain what truly matters.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Boncompagni (who writes for the New York Times Sunday Styles section) wittily describes the rise and fall of "Girl of the Moment" Lily Grace. After relocating to New York from Nashville, Lily becomes a society darling and marries the "handsome, charming, well-educated" and wealthy Robert Bartholomew. But an unplanned pregnancy destroys their nuptial bliss, and Lily becomes "flabby and cellulite-laden" as soon as she's carrying. Robert quits his job at a law firm and spends more and more time with his mother, a manipulative socialite. Lily, meanwhile, begins writing lifestyle pieces, which brings her back to the social-climbing world she inhabited pre-pregnancy. Lily's successes are marred by the constant indignities she suffers at the hands of her peers, forcing Lily to decide what she's willing to pay for her social standing. Boncompagni has an eye for the comedic aspects of this privileged, insular group, and her humor tends toward the absurd rather than the malevolent. The author's familiarity with the world she describes allows her to garnish the narrative with tantalizing details, and her protagonist is likable even at her most dastardly. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bridie Clark
“With crackling humor and spot-on detail, Boncompagni captures the rarified world of New York society—and the juggling act of modern motherhood.”
Karen Quinn
Only a true insider could dish…the way Tatiana Boncompagni has in this smartly written tale…”
Plum Sykes
“A fun society read that will keep you intrigued in the rise and fall of its glossy characters.”
Holly Peterson
“Rivetingly readable, Gilding Lily gleefully exposes the secret underbelly of socialite life.”
Jennifer Coburn
“A gawker-licious look at life inside the biting world of New York society. Juicy, gossipy, and ultimately redemptive, Guilding Lily is in a league with Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061982552
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 213,401
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Tatiana Boncompagni, author of the novel Gilding Lily, is a Manhattan-based freelancer who has written for The Financial Times Style and Shopping pages, the New York Times Sunday Styles section, the Wall Street Journal Weekend section, Vogue and InStyle. A graduate of Georgetown University's prestigious School of Foreign Service, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Europe in Brussels, and, later, as a reporter for the Legal Times in Washington, DC. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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Read an Excerpt

Gilding Lily

Chapter One

One and a half years earlier . . .

Sweeping up the main staircase of the Ludwig Collection, the Upper East Side cultural landmark and ultimate beneficiary of that evening's Spring Showers...themed fundraiser, Lily Grace managed to ruin what would have been a perfectly splendid entrance by stomping on the hem of her silk gown and falling down in the middle of the stairs. The dress, a sea green riot in airy chiffon, had been shipped directly off a Milan runway and delivered via messenger to her apartment that day, and in her haste to get to the party, she hadn't noticed the gown's perilously long hem.

Lily looked around, noting thankfully that her face plant had gone unobserved by the party guests and paparazzi milling about at the top of the stairs, and with her right hand gathered the excess material of the dress. She'd have to hold it up all night if she didn't want to take another tumble in front of tout le monde New York...which, of course, she most assuredly did not.

Proceeding more carefully this time up the white marble staircase, she made it into the Ludwig's second-floor ballroom without further incident, surveying the room, which had been elaborately decorated to reflect the evening's theme. Swaths of blue silk blanketed twenty-five round tables, each set with white candles, floral arrangements, and dinner service for ten; while a hundred potted trees draped with ropes of Austrian crystals, white Dendrobium orchids and fairy lights formed a natural border around the dining area. The room smelled expensively of narcissus, fresh cut grass, and French perfume.

As Lily maneuvered through the roomtoward Robert's table, she returned waves from a permatanned socialite who had recently posed in a bikini for the cover of Hamptons magazine (showing off a brand-new breast enlargement) and the daughter of a Caribbean rum exporter who was known as much for her tireless social climbing as she was for her not one but two gentleman walkers, who were themselves attached at the hip (and, apparently, to the idea that ascots were remotely fashionable). Next to them stood a contingent of South American bombshells, their tagalong hair stylists and makeup artists hovering nearby, and a clique of gossiping, half-drunk fashion publicists, all thin, all dressed in trendy sequined minidresses and platform heels.

Even though Lily had been on the gala scene for less than a year, she had already deduced what these evenings were all about. They weren't about charity (if she polled the room, probably only half the guests were aware of the cause their thousand-dollar-a-plate tickets were benefiting) and they weren't about romance (the men, at least those of the hetero variety, were entirely inconsequential) but about status, the preserving of it and the getting of it. The latter being the more interesting of the two. It was remarkable to Lily how being seen or, even better, photographed with the right people, in the right dress could transform a young woman from slender wallflower to hothouse diva within a fortnight.

Lily was well past fashionably late...the waiters were already clearing the striped bass and fennel gratin entrées from the tables...but Robert had told her over the phone not to worry. "Finish your work and then come as quick as you can," he'd said over the din of the cocktail hour. "But try to be here by dessert. I took a sneak peak at the menu and they're serving your favorite."

Profiteroles. She spotted another tuxedoed waiter threading through the room with a tray of the ice-cream-stuffed pastries, making her stomach gurgle with hunger. The last thing she'd eaten all day was a ham and cheese croissant from the Au Bon Pain in her office building. Then a Silicon Valley law firm declared bankruptcy, and all hell broke loose on the newsroom floor. By the time she'd filed her story and gotten out of the bureau, she'd had just enough time to wash her face, slap on some makeup, and slip into her dress before hijacking a taxi on Park Avenue and zooming uptown for the party.

She heard the machinations of a camera lens focusing and turned to see a slim, white-haired photographer holding his camera aloft. "A photo?" he asked, and Lily obliged with a quick nod, gently angling her left hip away from the camera while sucking in her stomach and holding her right arm slightly away from her side. Getting snapped with fat-looking upper arms was a monstrous no-no in this crowd.

It had taken her a while to master what she jokingly referred to as her "PPP: Perfect Party Pose"...the pictures from when she had first started dating Robert (and hadn't learned the benefits of snapping oneself with a Polaroid camera before stepping out for an evening) could be called unflattering at best...but she was a quick study, and by the time he proposed, she looked as if she'd been doing it for a lifetime, or at least a few years longer than the short six months of their courtship. Her pose was studied, but at least her smile was genuine, or so Lily reasoned. Many of the girls had taken to pouting like supermodels every time a camera lens trained on their pretty faces.

The news of Robert's proposal had risen more than a few eyebrows around town. Not only was he handsome, charming, and well educated, but he also had a pedigree few could match for snob appeal. His great-grandfather, himself an heir to a New York banking fortune, was an avid gardener, and while puttering around at his family's summer cottage, one of the storied seaside escapes on Newport's Bellevue Drive, he had invented Blue Water, a plant fertilizer. Robert's grandfather and father further expanded what was then a small family side business by opening a chain of successful garden supply stores across the country, and Robert, who had never trimmed a hedge or mulched a weed in his life, was raised in the opulent shadow of the money tree his forebears had planted years ago, as the once-humble Blue Water Garden Supply chain eclipsed even the old bank in profitability. When he chose Lily, a relative unknown from an upper-middle-class neighborhood of Nashville as his bride, everyone took notice.

Gilding Lily
. Copyright © by Tatiana Boncompagni. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This book got into my hands by one of my friends who could not s

    This book got into my hands by one of my friends who could not stop talking about it. I decided to give it a try and once I began to read it
    I could not put it down. As I read pages, I wanted to continue to know and wonder about the characters and how this book would have ended.
    I had a fun time reading this book ! Definitely understood main character and at times wanted to jump in
     and help her out!  Was well written  and can't wait to read more of her books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2011

    A fun read

    A little unrealistic at times (on many levels), but enjoyable and relatable, a fun read. Please write a sequel!

    (ps - did not like the cover of the paperback)

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  • Posted June 18, 2010


    Really enjoyed this one! I had a hard time stopping to eat and do the daily things....I was just very into this book! Great read, I highly recommend it!

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  • Posted January 29, 2009


    I ordered this book on a whim and it sat on my bedside table for a while. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I could relate to the main character, and was rooting for her to figure out what was really important in her life, and to quit wanting to be accepted by her mean mother-in-law and a group of horrible, catty girls. (Don't we all have women like that in our lives?) Most of all, this book was enjoyable because it was surprisingly well written and kept me on my toes until the last chapter. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes Candace Bushnell's books.

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  • Posted January 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Total Drag

    After many weeks trying to get through "Gilding Lily" I've completely given up, without even getting past the half-way mark. I started reading Lily on my lunch breaks at work thanks to an Advance copy in the breakroom, and recently have realized that it's ruining my lunches. This book is a constant let-down, and every page further cements the feeling that the main character is not at all relatable, totally shallow, and mostly pathetic. Instead of trying to power through hard times in her marriage and career, she wallows in her self-pity and becomes solely focused on climbing in a world that gives nothing back to her. Every paragraph is a downer, even when good things are happening, and I can't imagine an ending that would make the first half of this book worth reading. Don't bother paddling through this swamp of boredom.

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  • Posted December 6, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Lives of the rich & shallow

    Let me say right now that I've had this book finished for about two weeks now, and have had to force myself to write the review. It's not that the book is bad; it's just that it did nothing for me. That said, let me move on to the actual review.<BR/><BR/>Gilding Lily is the story of Lily, a woman from upper-middle class roots who is catapulted into the luxe (and back-stabbing) world of the New York elite when she marries a man of that class. Somewhere around the birth of her son, she loses her sense of self and self-worth, forgetting what it is to be a strong, independent woman instead of one of the sheep clamoring for attention and photos in all the trendy magazines.<BR/><BR/>I had to fight to pick Gilding Lily up each time I put it down. When I had the book in my hand, I didn't necessarily want to put it down - that is, I didn't have to fight to read it - but honestly, if I hadn't had an obligation to read & review it (I received the book as an ARC - Advanced Reader's Copy - with the understanding it was in exchange for a review of the book), I would have put it down after the first 50-100 pages and never picked it back up.<BR/><BR/>Gilding Lily is (mostly) well-written. There were a few instances where at the end of a chapter the author hinted at something which was going to happen, and I expected that hint to be expanded upon in the next chapter only to be disappointed, finding that the chapter in question had moved on to an entirely different scene or issue in Lily's life.<BR/><BR/>So, in all, I'm giving the book 2.5 stars. I personally did not enjoy the book, but that was because of the subject matter rather than the quality of the book. I'm sure someone else, who is more into "chick lit" and the lives of the rich, shallow, and famous would enjoy it immensely.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2008

    A Peek into NYC Society from the Inside

    I was looking forward to reading 'Gilding Lily' and am pleased to report that it certainly did not disappoint. I loved Lily, the main character, because she is as a 'real' person who is thrust into NYC society with all of its glamour and peer pressure and in the end, by staying true to herself, she comes out on top. 'Gilding Lily' is a page-turner that I was sad to see end. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed 'Bergdorf Blondes' or any Candace Bushnell book. I hope we see more from this author in the future!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2008

    Gilding Lily

    As an advanced reviewer I was sent this book and amazed with its intelligence. Boncompagni clearly knows her historical literature inside and out and the the book is teeming with clever allusions: the title character of Lily Bartholmew is a reference to Lily Bart of Edith Wharton¿s The House of Mirth. And that's just the beginning- as the story unfolds, characters reminiscent of the heroines and villains of Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Jane Austin comes to life. This is the first chick lit book I've reviewed that manages to be a fun read while simultaneously incorporating Veblenesque social commentary. 2 thumbs up... I'm impatiently awaiting the next book of this talented new author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2008

    Funny, quick read

    If you buy tabloids for the articles and crosswords, don't bother. This is a guilty pleasure that you won't have to throw out with next week's Gawker headlines. A fantastically fun book that reads like the fashion and gossip dos and don'ts of the Prada Diaper Bag set. You will love and loathe moments where a likeable character, Lily, navigates through snobs and society balls with the deft abilities of a girl who just can't help herself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2008

    Sadly overrated

    I love chick lit in almost any form! But this book was boring and just very shallow. Lily didn't really have any personality, and her struggles seemed silly (especially in light of the economy - am I supposed to feel sorry for her because she cant afford t oget her hair done?) I wish it were better! It had potential, but Lily was just dumb. The writer seemed to be wanting to write about herself. And like one of the other people who wrote a review, I was kind of squicked out by the racism with the maid. Too bad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Be Careful What You Wish For

    Sometimes getting what you dream about can become a nightmare. At least that is Lily¿s experience in this engaging, fun, and fast-paced novel. Gilding Lily tells the story of a young woman from a middle class background who marries into an established, wealthy family in New York City. Her romance with Robert Bartholomew, which brought her swiftly into society as one of New York¿s ¿It girls,¿ rivals any Disney Princess story. Only for Lily, her wedding day didn¿t signal a victory over a vicious step-mother or blood thirsty dragon. It was only then that her nemesis came out into the full light of day - Josephine Bartholomew, her mother-in-law. _ Lily¿s time in limelight in New York¿s social scene ended as quickly as it began. She became pregnant before the ink was dry on her marriage license. Along with baby came Robert¿s career crisis. By the time Will is a few months old, Lily hadn¿t lost a pound of her baby weight, is having trouble making ends meet on the income from her husband¿s trust, and is lonely and miserable. Robert, without the prospect of a job in sight, spends his days networking with his mother or playing squash at the club. At night he¿s often out escorting Josephine to social events. Finally, after a particularly heated argument about the two Ms 'money and mother-in-law', Lily decides to go back to work. Her talented writing, her connections, and her knack for getting stories other reporters could only dream of provide Lily with an opportunity to return to New York¿s socialite scene. Soon she has to decide if getting the story, becoming a socialite in her own right, and, perhaps, earning her mother-in-law¿s respect is worth the risk of losing the man she loves. _ From the first chapter where we meet Lily tripping on the hem of couture dress on her way to gala, I was drawn in to the book. I got so involved in the characters that by the end I could hardly put the book down. In fact, if it were not for this book I might never have discovered that I have an unusual talent for reading a paperback while curling my hair and drinking the morning¿s first Diet Coke. This novel revolves around New York¿s elite, but the highly competitive animosity that often exists between women is universal. When push comes to shove, women are often our own worst enemies. So, where there is a group of women you will usually find a catty woman like Di or a Morgan who is trying to undermine everyone else to insure her position. When your disapproving mother-in-law is the queen bee of that social set, eventually all hell will break lose. As much fun as it is to watch the fur fly, you¿ll be hoping along with Lily that having a happy family with Robert really isn¿t too good to be true. _ Boncompagni¿s writing, which is smooth and easy to read, is what really made this book for me. So often when reading chick lit I get the impression that the author thinks nothing about the readers beyond the dollar signs. When reading Gilding Lily, you can sense the pride that Boncompagni has in her work. If this first novel is any indication of what is to come, hers will be a career to follow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    I couldn't put it down!

    I started Gilding Lily on a Friday and finished it by Sunday. Lily is a captivating character, charming, sexy, sweet, naive, ambitious, flawed. That is what makes this book such a fun read. It is clear that Ms. Boncompagni really knows the world of high society about which she writes. The characters are spot on. She has a knack for capturing the absurdity in the privileged world of upper east side Manhattan, and she does it with brilliant comedic flair. This book is a wonderful beach book - it gives you a peek at a gilded way of life that you read about in the Style Section of the New York Times. After gobbling up Gilding Lily, I'm so glad that isn't my world. I truly had a ball reading this novel and I look forward to reading more from Tatiana Boncompagni.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    Smart Chick Lit!

    Thank God for smart chick lit writers like Tatiana Boncompagni! I read Gilding Lily every night before bed for a week and had such trouble putting it down. This book's definitely one for the beach bag. The main character, Lily, is a former journalist who's now struggling with new motherhood, lost passion for her once-hot husband, a vicious NYC social circle and regrets over having left her career behind. Lily's entirely relatable and a thoroughly well-rounded character -- no formulas here. Gilding Lily has all the elements of frothier chick lit books -- moral quandries, work-life balance problems, romance romance and more romance -- but the author is clearly one smart cookie who can tell a good tale.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    Gilding Lily

    I started reading this book on the subway home from work and from the first chapter, I was hooked! That doesn¿t happen to me often, even with my favorite Chick Lit writers. But there¿s just something about the main character (Lily) that you instantly bond with. She¿s like that totally real friend you¿ve had since 3rd grade. At the very end of the book, I remember thinking to myself this is the sort of girl I would want as my best friend if I was part of that Park Avenue set (haha, in my dreams). I haven¿t heard of this author before but I¿m going to keep an eye on her because I LOVED her writing style. Her descriptions are so vivid-- I felt like I was actually in the room. And she has the best sense of humor- I almost woke my husband up as I laughed out loud in the scene with Lily and her hairstylist. P.S. Who is this Professor Katie who writes ¿the racism, crystallized in that instance, remains prevalent¿?? This book is sooo not racist- It¿s a fun chick lit book thank goodness not a boring PC one!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    Gilding Lily

    I got my hands on Tatiana Boncompagni's novel 'Gilding Lily' and sat down and read it all the way through. Seriously. I gave up sleep for this book. It is a great tale 'not in the way that Ivanhoe was great, but in the way that romantic stories are great' about life in moneyed society of New York. I must admit, I have always wanted to be one of the society. Not in a mean catty ways 'not Mean Girls!' but in a 'oh wouldn't it be lovely to be rich' kind of a way. It was a great story as it let me feel like one of the 'in crowd' 'as SITC made Manolo a household name' while still allowing me to be wary of the glam life's charms. This book let me wander into my realm of fantasy of what it would be like to be a rich girl while also allowing me to be wary of what life for the other half is really like. While I am unclear when this book will come out, it was a great beach book i.e. it was a little fluffy. But I like fluffy! In fact I LOVE FLUFFY! I deal with enough down n dirty during the day that I can appreciate a little fluff in my life, especially when it comes from a delicious book such as this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    fresh heroine, sprightly writing

    Lily Bartholomew thinks she has friends in her Manhattan, society-driven, coiffed and massaged life. So might the mouse being cuffed between clacking and pecking hens when he dares intrude into their henhouse. But our girl has spirit, courage, and a warm heart, and her get-back-up attitude keeps her head bobbing above the water as she swims between the tucked and botoxed gal-sharks that infest her world. Lily has triumphs, joy, and much happiness, even as she struggles with a withering mother-in-law, a less-than-mature husband, and all the joys of new motherhood, like uninvited fat on her hips that has a life of its own. In 'Gilding Lily' a reader will encounter a mother-in-law who sends shivers down Lily's spine, and our own, gal-pals like we never want to acquire, and others we yearn for, and a tender, sweet, determined and spunky heroine who we alternately want to cradle and shake awake. Lily is in all of us, and we ache with her when she is pained. As a friend we cry out 'Don't do that!' at times, and we hold our breath till she makes her world right again. Lily deserves further adventures, as she further stiffens her backbone for the realities of her world, and she deserves to create the world she cannot just fall into. And we deserve to peek once again into Lily's world, so different from most of ours, and see just what our gal has gotten herself into lately.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Absolutely Wonderful and charming

    I absolutely adored this book. When I got my first look at the cover, I was a little unsure (yes, I am one of THOSE people ¿ I have been known to occasionally base my first impression of a book by its cover). However, in this case, I am glad that I took the time to read the first few sentences of the chapter, because as soon as I did, I was hooked. Gilding Lily, by first time author, Tatiana Boncompagni has all of the elements needed to make it a compulsive read. The storyline is set in the world of the ridiculously rich ¿ and is populated by its own particular brand of characters, which you will (mostly) love to hate. There are also deliciously written scenes of over-indulgence, sweet romantic moments and lots of gossip and cattiness!!! Our main character Lily, who was not born into a world of privilege, but does aspire to it, marries the love of her life and vows to become `one of them¿ ¿ except that she never quite succeeds. Indeed, saddled with a mother in law who despises her, a husband who lives on his trust fund and has never quite understood that he needs to let go of the apron strings, a brand new baby (not to mention the baby fat and the baby vomit) as well as a bunch of socialites who laugh at her behind her back, Lily feels lost and lonely and hatches a plan to ¿re-invent¿ herself and to prove, once and for all, that she is worthy of this high-society life. Just as Lily is finally starting to feel appreciated and accepted, she will come face to face with Emily who will do absolutely anything to get into the same world Lily is now happily living in. I found the character of Emily to be a great addition to the storyline. She is the trigger that will help Lily take a good look at herself and her priorities ¿ she acts as a mirror for Lily and will be a big part of Lily¿s growing up (finally!) process and will help her discover what is truly important for her. What makes this book so interesting, to me, is that none of the characters (with the possible exception of baby Will) are not always particularly likeable and this includes Lily. The author has chosen to create Lily with a very interesting mixture of good and bad which I found absolutely riveting. You can feel Lily¿s inner-struggle, on one hand despising the world she is in, but at the same time, desperately craving to be part of it. At times, she can be almost as catty and horrible as her circle of ¿Restylane-plumped, laser-resurfaced friends¿ while simultaneously, proving herself to be a wonderful mother, friend and loving wife. Lily is definitely a dichotomy and I kept reading avidly to find out exactly where Lily would land. This character was truly well constructed and fleshed out and set the tone for the entire storyline. I also thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Lily and her husband, Robert. At times, I was not sure which of the two I wanted to smack more ¿ and I found myself shouting at both of them to grow up, but this just added to my pleasure in reading this book. The writing style flows gracefully and there is not one word out of place. Absolutely charming, authentic and extremely difficult to put them¿.un petit péché mignon!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2008

    This rocks

    Lily Grace moves from Nashville to New York with plans of taking Manhattan by storm. She becomes very popular amidst the elite social class and meets educated wealthy charmer Robert Bartholomew. They marry.----------- When Lily becomes pregnant, Robert loses interest in her as she gains weight and is no longer the it ¿Girl of the moment¿. He quits his job as a lawyer and begins spending time with his socialite mother who never wanted the southern belle as her daughter-in-law. Lily begins writing lifestyle articles that allows her reentrance into the high society world her pregnancy kicked her from, but she is treated with distain led by Robert¿s mother.----------- Using hyperbole as an amusing saber, Tatiana Boncompagni provides a fascinating look at what people will accept in order to belong to a group that treats ¿outsiders¿ as pet rocks. Lily holds the tale together with her need to be part of the upper crust elitist crowd whose motto ought to be ¿Let them eat cake off our Persian rugs¿. Humorous yet somewhat sad as the human need to belong supersedes self actualization even when the members disdain you as inferior. This is a well written insightful contemporary tale in which readers will like the desperate Lily and root for her to find the grace of telling her spouse, her in-laws and the wealthy in crowd to pound rocks although at the same time the audience knows her inclination is in the opposite direction.---------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2008

    Couldn't Put it Down...

    This was one of those books I picked up one lazy Sunday afternoon and finished a few days later...quite literally could not put it down. As a full time working mother of two and devoted wife, it is rare that I allow myself such guilty pleasures. I had instant chemistry with Lily, and very easily escaped into her world each time I thumbed through the pages and found my bookmark. Her insecurities that led to overanalyzing most situations I found extremely relatable. Sometimes we have to save ourselves from ourselves. Lily did just that...she is a heroine. She inspired me to choose carrots over potato chips (at least once or twice), buy a new pair of shoes, and snuggle up a little closer to my sexy husband (at least once or twice). I was actually sad when the book ended, like saying goodbye to a friend...and eagerly await the next read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Real gold

    Gilding Lily indulged my interest in juicy gossip and inside information about the life of the socialite. The book painted the familiar dreamy picture of that world's wealthy elegance, excess and privelege, and exposes the pain, insecurity and emptiness that can lie beneath. In the end, our good girl wins. I've read this story in lots of books lately. It's a fun one. What I didn't expect was that this familiar story would sit toward the background. What GL isn't about how an outsider gets the key to a glossy, succesful life as a socialite. Gilding Lily is about the growth, strength and grace of a real woman. As Lily's life unfolds, her life as and among the socials is pushed to the background. What she wins in the end is belief in the confidence capability, loveliness and strength with which she intially set out to NYC. She neither resents nor shuts the door on high society. Its shine simply dims behind the light of a full, real life. I'm used to finishing a book about a young woman in society wistful and wanting--idealizing if not society itself, the wealth and comfort that appears to a accompany it. I finished GL inspired. In a world where we spend many times the amount we save, and possessions have become an ultimate goal, a story about working to have a real life among wealth is especially poignant. What better way to end the summer than with the inspiration to live my own life fully? Loved it.

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