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Review: The Ivy Chronicles, by Karen Quinn

Other readers have compared this book to Admissions, another tale of what parents will do to get their kids into the best private schools in Manhattan. However, I thought The Ivy Chronicles was funnier and more memorable.
The story follows Ivy Ames though a grueling year, as she loses first her job and then her husband. As a result, she is forced to give up her old apartment, her children's private school, and doggie day care. While the scenario is a bit contrived in the beginning, Ivy's decision to help upscale New Yorkers get through the admissions process of New York City day schools is interesting and funny. Like anyone else, Ivy is only human, worrying about her weight and whether or not the author downstairs likes her.

Ivy takes on about seven clients, including a mob boss; a Jewish/Gentile couple whose father won't allow his grandson to go to a Jewish school and tries to bribe Ivy at the tune of $ 1 million; a woman who tries to bribe the members of the Board of Trustees at every school to which her son applies; her housekeeper, who wants a better life for her son; a man who continually threatens to fire Ivy and tells her to encouage his daughter to cheat on the ERBs; and a gay couple with a disabled adopted son. Some of the characterizations seems contrived, although the humor is genuine. There were some characters I would have liked to see more of, others I would have liked to have seen less, but the author does a wonderful job of tying the pieces together. The only thing I have to gripe about the book was its predictable ending. Hoever, it was wonderfully written. I highly recommend. I'm looking forward to reading Karen Quinn's new book, Holly Would Dream, coming out this summer.
Also reviewed by: Trashionista


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