Read advance reader review of Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

Everybody Rise

by Stephanie Clifford

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford X
Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
Buy This Book

About this book


Page 1 of 4
There are currently 25 member reviews
for Everybody Rise
Order Reviews by:
  • Robert S. (Henderson, NV)
    What Price For Acceptance
    Everybody Rise is a very good read. Populated with familiar characters, creatively expressed with thoughtful and vibrant prose and presented through a narrative that is simultaneously dark and uproariously humorous this book deserves critical praise.

    This is the almost contemporary (2006) story of Evelyn Beegan, a mid-twenties woman, bright and attractive, her painful search for acceptance from others and ultimately her discovery of self-acceptance. The daughter of first generation nouveau riche parents (successful plaintiff trial lawyer dad and housewife mom), Evelyn is overwhelmed by a sense of class inferiority for not being a part of the old money or business elite whose children formed her social network at her prestigious eastern prep school and later in Manhattan where she lived and worked. Ev is profoundly influenced by her mother, Barbara, who is consumed by social status and who, notwithstanding her husband's financial success, defines herself as second tier in her stratified world. Bab's constant haranging to Evelyn about expending every effort to secure class standing coupled with Evelyn's signifiicant flaws in character drive the protagonist to use lies, deceit and thievery to penetrate the social structure to which she aspires. Ev is resolute in this quest losing all sense of morality, committing acts of maddening cruelty, forgoing her friends and abandoning reality. This, then, is the tale of Evelyn's evolution toward self-realization, and the separate but interrelated journeys of her friends and parents.

    The power of the novel comes from its tiered plot, thoughtful and effective structure and extraordinary prose. The central plot line, as described, is the protagonist's drive for patrician-like social status, following the actions that Evelyn takes and the relationships that she makes to that end. There is, as well, a secondary story line about the fall from grace, professional and legal, of Evelyn's father. Finally, there are sub-stories about the other characters, being the people in Ev's circle, each of whom has his own role in the novel in addition to complimenting Evelyn's story. The author's careful combining of these threads creates the fullness of the narrative.

    Generally the story is structured chronologically opening when Ev is eight years out of college having just been hired by a new social networking website targeted to the young elite and aptly named People Like Us (one of the book's many pleasingly satirical flourishes). Without losing the chronological anchor the author immediately delivers the back story of Ev's defining prep school years which introduces us to her friends and family. Throughout the book the author continues to seemlessly weave context and plot allowing for a full appreciation of the story line.

    One additional structural element of note is the novel's pacing. Each story line builds to a crescendo and ends in resolution. Although addressing serious themes in a most literary way the author creates suspense worthy of quality crime fiction.

    Of all of the novel's attributes, however, the most distinguishing is the author's brilliant use of words- in setting scenes, describing thoughts and feelings, writing dialogue and commenting on the human condition. The prose evokes laughter, sadness, anger and reflection which stay with the reader long after the last page is turned. The sarcasm is biting and forcefully hits the mark. The quality of the writing cannot be captured with limited examples, but this review demands at least a sample of the prose.

    In speaking of a miscarriage that Barbara suffered the author writes that "each new cramp seemed to be mocking the inhospitableness of the mother's body". Contrasting her parents' new wealth with the old money of her patrician prep school classmates Evelyn observes that "you couldn't cover up the smell of new money,vinyl and plastic just like a shower curtain just out of the case. You could try layering old houses, old furniture and manners that mimicked those of people who had been living this life for centuries. But unless your fortune was generations old you would never count in the same way." Observing her father's appearance at his low point Evelyn observes that "he looks folded into himself like a Snoopy balloon after the Macy's parade".

    There is one weakness of the novel that warrants mention. The secondary characters are one dimensional, appearing to have been pulled from central casting to conveniently represent the social types among the upper tier Manhattan twenty-somethings. We have the east coast patrician son who is struggling with his sexual identity, the east coast old money trust fund daughter who cannot see beyond the next society event, the work driven (in the financial sector, of course) ivy league educated daughter of a blue chip corporate senior executive who lived her youth attending the best international schools in major capitals of the world and finally the brilliant nerdy son of an Arizona working family also work driven (also in the financial sector) who is destined for success. This combination of players is just too predictable, too contrived and not worthy of this otherwise complex, nuanced book.
    Everybody Rise is a compelling novel that addresses important themes including the continuing role of entitlement versus merit in determining success, the limits in the pursuit of acceptance and the rewards of self-awareness. Highly recommended.
  • Cathleen K. (Poughkeepsie, NY)
    Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
    Meet the modern-day Lily Bart. Like her predecessor, Evelyn Topfer Beegan is a young woman just below the peak of New York City social life who will go to great lengths to reach the top and there find a permanent place. Who is she? And how much of her desperation is her own, and how much is it that of her mother? As with Edith Wharton in The House of Mirth, Stephanie Clifford in her first novel seems to know whereof she speaks. We do not get clichés about the rich; they are real people and their situations are unique and believable.
    Though I sometimes cursed Evelyn, I cared for her and sympathized with her. I am sorry the public will have to wait till August for publication because this would make a great summer read, especially if one is lucky enough to go to the Hamptons or the Adirondaks.
  • Annie P. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
    Great character study
    Everybody Rise is a story of a young girl, trying to please her mother, herself, and everyone else in the world. How she handles her inevitable slide into oblivion and the climb back out is heart-wrenching and a serious lesson for many young people today. I was so angry at her blind ambition, spending without regard for consequence, and believing that she could break the $$ ceiling which masquerades as a caste system in this country. I would say that this should be required reading for teenagers but they would never believe it could happen to them.

    Clifford has written a terrific character study. I highly recommend it.
  • Elizabeth P. (Lake Elmo, MN)
    I had a difficult time getting started with this book, and was uncertain of what to expect, but as I continued to read and adjusted to the voice of the main character, I began to fell in love and couldn't put it down. I found the main character to be written in such a way that I wanted her to succeed and fail in her endeavors all at once. Plot, character development, pace, resolution - all were well done and satisfying. Highly recommend.
  • Charlene M. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
    Everybody Rise
    Have you ever felt that you didn't quite fit in? That you wanted to be in the "In" crowd. Stephanie Clifford's novel "Everybody Rise" is the story of Evelyn Beegan who is, like many of us, a girl/woman who is a "Not Quite". She's not quite pretty, not quite successful, not quite the daughter her mother wants her to be - always searching for a way into the group of friends she thinks she would like to be. These friends and family - Nick, Camilla, Charlotte, Preston and her parents - are not quite the unflawed people she thinks they are. A captivating, well-written debut novel. I look forward to many more of Ms. Clifford's books.
  • Dorinne D. (Wickenburg, AZ)
    The Clematis Vine Climber
    This is a story about trying to fit into "society" in New York City and trying to live like a socialite without the resources to sustain the lifestyle. The protagonist, Evelyn Beegan struggles to insert herself into this elitist group by using friends and acquaintances from her private school years and embellishing her own accomplishments. It's a classic tale of striving for, and failing to reach, an unrealistic goal, all the while compromising one's principles and financial stability. The story is well told and keeps the reader intent on finding out how it will all end.
  • Christine B. (Scottsdale, AZ)
    Everybody Rise (and quickly fall)
    I truly enjoyed this book. Our protagonist Evelyn is trying SO hard to "fit" in with the group of people she thinks she needs to be a part of. I had sympathy for her position because she went to school and somewhat lived on the fringes of this privileged life she desired. She finally comes to realize that there were"privileges"all around her- she just wasn't seeing them. Her journey to understanding herself and her family with all their foibles was done in an entertaining and believable manner. I think it would be a fun book to discuss. All of us always seem to be striving for something we think we need or have to possess even though that is usually not the case- a very universal theme.

More Information


Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Moonrise Over New Jessup
    Moonrise Over New Jessup
    by Jamila Minnicks
    Jamila Minnicks' debut novel Moonrise Over New Jessup received the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially...
  • Book Jacket
    The Magician's Daughter
    by H.G. Parry
    "Magic isn't there to be hoarded like dragon's treasure. Magic is kind. It comes into ...
  • Book Jacket: The Great Displacement
    The Great Displacement
    by Jake Bittle
    On August 4, 2021, California's largest single wildfire to date torched through the small mountain ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Island of Missing Trees
    by Elif Shafak
    The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak tells a tale of generational trauma, explores identity ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Nurse's Secret
by Amanda Skenandore
A fascinating historical novel based on the little-known story of America's first nursing school.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The God of Endings
    by Jacqueline Holland

    A suspenseful debut that weaves a story of love, history and myth through the eyes of one immortal woman.

  • Book Jacket

    The Lost English Girl
    by Julia Kelly

    A story of love, betrayal, and motherhood set against the backdrop of World War II and the early 1960s.

Who Said...

Choose an author as you would a friend

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

R Peter T P P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.