In the well-heeled milieu of New York’s Upper East Side, coolly elegant Philippa Lye is the woman no one can stop talking about. Despite a shadowy past, Philippa has somehow married the scion of the last family-held investment bank in the city. And although her wealth and connections put her in the center of this world, she refuses to conform to its gossip-fueled culture.
Then, into her precariously balanced life, come two women: Gwen Hogan, a childhood acquaintance who uncovers an explosive secret about Philippa’s single days, and Minnie Curtis, a newcomer whose vast fortune and frank revelations about a penurious upbringing in Spanish Harlem put everyone on alert.
When Gwen’s husband, a heavy-drinking, obsessive prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office, stumbles over the connection between Philippa’s past and the criminal investigation he is pursuing at all costs, this insulated society is forced to confront the rot at its core and the price it has paid to survive into the new millennium.
Offering a peek behind the surface of the wealthy families scrambling to reach the top of New York society, Mrs. spotlights an elegant but flawed woman who gives new meaning to the word aloof. Philippa is stylish, smart, and a bit of a drunk. Because she has a way of appearing elegant, she can almost hide her flaws of poor mothering, drinking too much, and ignoring the other women who are her contemporaries in the motherhood game of the Upper East Side. But behind her façade are some very dark secrets, and what she is hiding could affect several others in the world she inhabits.As the other women, like Gwen and Minnie, try to delve into what Philippa is hiding, they might discover that the answers would be better left alone.
The story is told mostly from Gwen’s point of view, and she was the most likable character. Minnie was hard to read; elusive might more clearly define her. The men, like Gwen’s husband Dan and Philippa’s husband Jed, carry a lot of their own dark issues. Perhaps the most shade should be thrown on Minnie’s husband John, who can be called many things, but good is not one of them.
As the tale unfolded, I found myself losing interest. The big secrets had been revealed, and I felt like yawning a bit. There didn’t seem to be enough to keep my attention once I saw how events would come to fruition. In fact, I didn’t really care for any of them except Gwen, although Philippa was a curiosity I wouldn’t mind exploring a little more. I didn’t understand why the women were drawn to any of the men, other than the obvious financial reasons.
Just when I was about to give up on the book, abruptly and with a big splash, their lives all changed, seemingly in sharp defining moments, making this one a 4 star read.