Primates of Park Avenue

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I’ve gotta start this book review out by saying that I’m a sucker for a fly-on-the-wall observationist book. Having purchased this book in the airport as I departed JFK, I was bursting at the seams for a little insider info into what life must be like on the Upper East Side. Being a self-confessed stage 10 fan of the hit series Gossip Girl, I wanted to draw back the curtain and see what life was really like with a view of Central Park out your window.

This book did not disappoint.


Primates of Park Avenue Review

I knew before I handed the cash over to the bookstore lady that this would be one of those books you either love or you hate. Being from the ‘regular’ world (where my mum never wore heels or even had a strut), I bought this book out of sheer intrigue – no more, no less.

While it is easy for people to turn up their nose and shun this book for being unrealistic or the author being out of touch with reality (just read the Goodreads reviews), I will let you know now that I will make neither of these assertions. Instead; I loved the book. I loved getting a glimpse into ‘how the other half live‘ and I loved every painful description of how un-fabulous it all sounded from the get go.

For the past few years I have been given a glimpse of my own into ‘how the other half live’. The fancy hotels, the butlers to pack or unpack your suitcase and the white-gloved doormen are all a novelty to me. Every day is a new little insight into this life that I have never wholly or even in the most minuscule of measurements felt a part of. I have played along, pinkies up, and had a whole lot of fun along the way. But at the end of the day I have returned home to my little country house with my family, partner and our new puppy beside me to not just appreciate, but find what I have around me in those moments to be enough. All I need, I have. Anything else (travel, hotels, party invitations, a book deal!?!?) is just a bonus!

I suppose what I’m saying is that while I loved the book and the insight it gave into elevator-exit apartments and rigorous exercise classes, I’m more than happy with life in my own bubble: track pants, instant coffee and home-cooked meals all inclusive.

So, what did you think!?

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Did you find this book insightful (whether you loved or hated it aside)?

  2. Would you ever uproot yourself and move to the Upper East Side if given the chance?

  3. Do you see yourself as a Soul Cycle or Ballet Class kinda gal (or guy!)

  4. Did you find many (if any) similarities between the book and the portrayal of the Upper East in Gossip Girl?

Over to you! What did you think of this month’s book club pick!?

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!