Four millennial bright young things charge into the real world, with all the unfounded confidence of 22: M., our narrator, is one of the few young women at her prestigious, high-octane investment bank. To her mother's chagrin, she has always insisted she prefers her signet ring to any diamond. Belle is M.'s college best friend. Wide-eyed and whimsical, she marks the sidewalks of Manhattan with messages in pink chalk and snaps a ceaseless stream of photos for her viral blog. Chase is Belle's British-American, on-again-off-again boyfriend. Equal parts fraternity bro and Savile Row, he is M.'s colleague and arch nemesis. Jeremy is M.'s new friend, a modern-day Gatsby, dapper and earnest, who would rather be piloting a hot air balloon than stuck behind his Wall Street desk.
As the financial crisis bears down and social media grows ever more ubiquitous, style and substance become increasingly difficult to distinguish. In this fake plastic world, what do success and friendship and love even look like?
"Like The Great Gatsby and Bright Lights, Big City, Kimberley Tait's Fake Plastic Love examines one innocent's unsentimental education with great energy and panache." (Stewart O'Nan, author of West of Sunset)
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A Wistful, Effervescent Toast to "Being True"...
What a charming and utterly delightful story! Kimberley Tait (as read by Khristine Hvam) captivated me from the start with her artfully polished and elegant storytelling that harkens to a bygone era and catapults it forward into a modern-day setting. Her words sparkled into a vibrant, celebratory toast to individual ideals and truths too often muddled or masked by the blares and blasts of a 24/7 digital world. I found the writing to be heartfelt and earnest, almost as if the spirited beauty, strength and wit of Katharine Hepburn could be converted into words on paper. As the story unfolded, I found hints of my own twentysomething self in her characters, and I found myself wanting to pour myself a Pink Gin cocktail from Belle’s bamboo bar cart, rewind time and recapture some of the untarnished brilliance and innocence of youth skipping and winding through college lawns and the streets of New York that the author depicts so well. “From that loftiest perch the city’s grid really was remarkable–with streets and lives and loves lost and found linking together and laid out as a network of silver piping.” (I must also applaud the clever and astute observations of often-baffling Corporate America from a female perspective that are oh so amusingly threaded into the storyline!) Throughout the story, I found myself wistfully lost in the dreaminess of the song-like qualities of the writing and the characters themselves--so much so that when I reached the final pages of the final chapter, I experienced the similarly heart-shattering pang of emotion I feel the night before the last day of a perfect vacation--I didn’t want it to end. Cheers to a “glad-eyed” future and that it will be topped off with more “pretty” from the talented Kimberley Tait!
Kimberley Tait seems very much inspired by the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald -- a modern-day "The Great Gatsby" with a twist of millennial and female lead.
I felt Khristine seamlessly captured the lead character's (M., the narrator) authenticity with perfection. I believed I was listening to M. read her own memoir aloud.
I would go to the real-life equivalent of "The Vanderbilt Club" with M., the narrator, and order her signature favorites off the menu from Theo at the Main Bar. We would sit and share laughs and observations from our work-week, riddled with all of the amusing ridiculousness of Corporate Culture "norms." From there, we would Uber to Chumley's or another one of the selective haunts quietly tucked away in the city (as described in the book) to continue chatting about life and love and what life's cards hold for us next. I feel like M. could be one of my very best and most trusted, reliable friends.
Imaginative, vivid character development joined with vibrant setting placement...I felt like I was strolling through the grid that is Manhattan, the campus greens of Dartmouth and the slick cobblestoned streets of London with people I know well. The perfect Audible book!
- Ashley McMahon