A Review of Candace Bushnell’s One Fifth Avenue


Sex and the City fans will love Candace Bushnell’s new book One Fifth Avenue. This book follows a group of elite (and some not so elite) New Yorkers in the wake of an elderly woman’s death. Louise Houghton ruled New York society for decades, but soon after her death when her apartment at One Fifth Avenue goes up for sale, the other residents begin discussing who should take her place in the penthouse apartment. Eventually the board president Mindy Gooch selects Paul and Annalisa Rice to buy the apartment, but soon after Paul Rice begins stepping on toes on the building. An art dealer, Billy Litchfield, opens a package from the late Mrs. Houghton and finds a treasure that his old friend had long been suspected of stealing from an art museum. At the same time, Mindy’s husband is finally being praised for his new book, while pining for his screenwriter neighbour’s young, attractive gold-digging girlfriend.The other characters include a gossip columnist, an actress, and a 13 year old technology wizard out for revenge against another resident. One Fifth Avenue describes the events that follow, and details the actions of these characters who seemingly have it all, but are always wanting more.

The character build-up in One Fifth Avenue is truly phenomenal. The events Bushnell describes are believable, and they overlap in such a way that by the middle of Act Two there is a web of deceit and ulterior motives that is masterfully arranged so that the story stays clear. This delicious mix of new and old money makes for spectacular drama. Bushnell is one of the few truly talented writers who are able to portray elite New Yorkers so masterfully; this may be due in part to the fact that she arguably is one now herself. If you loved Sex and the City, we guarantee that you will find this to be a tantilizing read.

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