It is 2008, late capitalism is in crisis, and the great and the good are gathered at an Islington house party. Hosting proceedings are waspish Sherard Howe, scion of a publishing dynasty and owner of a left-wing magazine, and his wife, Daphne Depree, whose feminist work The Third Sex is seen – to her increasing discomfort – as an intellectual cornerstone of the Blair era. The guests include cabinet ministers, celebrated artists and peers of the realm; but somehow it’s doubtful that any number of grandees would overshadow Afua, the Howes’ beautiful and supremely ambitious adopted daughter, already a rising star of the Labour Party.
Into this world arrives twenty-four-year-old Elizabeth “Buzzy” Price, an aspiring poet only too aware of her suburban background. Moral support is at hand from shy but devoted Henry, the Howes’ biological son – though perhaps Buzzy is most grateful for her friend’s connection to her own unrequited love, Afua’s boyfriend, the worldly Marcel.
This was surprisingly enjoyable. I found it all strangely fascinating, you sort of get to see how the rich people live. Though most of the time it makes fun of the Oxbridge, art-collecting, well-read, lawyers and political types. It was a very easy book to read, the type of book you would want to take on holiday with you. I would definitely recommend if you are into art or modern day politics.
*I received a copy of this book from John Murray in exchange for an honest review.
**So I’ve been feeling really awful today and the result is a shitty 3 sentence review. And for that I apologise.