This Beautiful Lifeby Helen Schulman
When the Bergamots move from a comfortable upstate college town to New York City, theyre not quite sure how theyll adaptor what to make of the strange new world of well-to-do Manhattan. Soon, though, Richard is consumed by his executive role at a large New York university, and Liz, who has traded in her academic career to oversee the lives of… See more details below
When the Bergamots move from a comfortable upstate college town to New York City, theyre not quite sure how theyll adaptor what to make of the strange new world of well-to-do Manhattan. Soon, though, Richard is consumed by his executive role at a large New York university, and Liz, who has traded in her academic career to oversee the lives of their children, is hectically ferrying young Coco around town.
Fifteen-year-old Jake is gratefully taken into the fold by a group of friends at Wildwood, an elite private school.
But the upper-class cocoon in which they have enveloped themselves is ripped apart when Jake wakes up one morning after an unchaperoned party and finds an email in his in-box from an eighth-grade admirer. Attached is a sexually explicit video she has made for him. Shocked, stunned, maybe a little proud, and scareda jumble of adolescent emotionhe forwards the video to a friend, who then for-wards it to a friend. Within hours, its gone viral, all over the school, the city, the world.
The ensuing scandal threatens to shatter the Bergamots sense of security and identity, and, ultimately, their happiness. They are a good family faced with bad choices, and how they choose to react, individually and at one anothers behest, places everything they hold dear in jeopardy.
This Beautiful Life is a devastating exploration of the blurring boundaries of privacy and the fragility of self, a clear-eyed portrait of modern life that will have readers debating their assumptions about family, morality, and the sacrifices and choices we make in the name of love.
The New York Times
The Washington Post
- Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Publication date:
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Read an Excerpt
This Beautiful LifeA Novel
By Helen Schulman
HarperCopyright © 2011 Helen Schulman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneHer mouth filled the screen. Purple lip gloss, clear braces.
"Still think I'm too young?"
She leaned over, the fixed lens of the camera catching a tiny
smattering of blemishes on her cheek, like a comet's spray. Her
hair had been bleached white, with long blond roots, and most of
it was pulled back and up into a chunky ponytail above the three
plastic hoops climbing the rim of her ear.
The song began to play, Beyoncé. I love to love you, baby. She
stepped aside, revealing her room in all its messy glory. Above
the bed was a painting; the central image was a daisy. A large lava
lamp bubbled and gooed on the nightstand.
She was giggling offstage. Suddenly, the screen was a swirl
of green plaid. Filmstrips of color in knife pleats. Her short skirt
swayed along with her round hips. A little roll of ivory fat nestled
above the waistband. She wore a white tank top, which she
took off, her hands quickly finding the cups of her black bra. The
breasts inside were small, and at first she covered them with her
palms, fingers splayed like scallop shells. Then she unhooked the
bra in the front and they popped out as if on springs. Her hands
did a little fan dance as they reached below her hemline and lifted
up her skirt.
She'd done all of this for his benefit. To please him. To prove
him wrong. She reached out for the little toy baseball bat and the
next part was hard to watch, even if you knew what was coming.
Except it wasn't.
Excerpted from This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman Copyright © 2011 by Helen Schulman. Excerpted by permission of Harper. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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