Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Posted October 9, 2014 by Sara | Novel Novice 7 Comments

In the tradition of The Great Gatsby comes a new classic about the tragedy and excesses of the wealthy, though Chelsey Philpot’s Even in Paradise is far more hopeful than any green light at the end of the dock.

even in paradiseWhen Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do… or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

A story so lush, the descriptions so vivid, that each scene comes to life. Philpot’s writing transports readers to the elite New England boarding school where Charlotte meets the enigmatic and charming Julia Buchanan – of the Great Buchanans; to the family’s stately Nantucket Island summer home; to Charlotte’s far more modest home in the mountains near a ski resort.

Philpot has brilliantly captured the essence of excess and tragedy that made The Great Gatsby an American classic. But unlike Fitzgerald, Philpot expertly injects her tragic story with a much-needed (and desired) dose of hope. Though Even in Paradise is a story rich with sadness and loss, it ultimately ends on an uplifting note — giving readers a reason to celebrate and cheer, just as her characters have a reason to celebrate and cheer.

I was enraptured by Philpot’s characters, enchanted by her writing, and — like Charlotte — swept away by Julia’s world. Sure to become another American classic, Even in Paradise is in stores October 14th.

Sara | Novel Novice

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7 responses to “Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

  1. ccplteenunderground

    I’m so intrigued by your review because, unlike practically everyone else in the world, I do not love The Great Gatsby. So to see a story that takes on some of the same issues/settings of the classic but with hope and goodness is really exciting. I will definitely look forward to reading this one!

    • Sara | Novel Novice

      I did love GATSBY, but it’s definitely a depressing book. This one has similar tones, but while still being tragic, is ultimately MUCH more hopeful and uplifting. Plus, the writing is gorgeous, and I loved the characters and settings. Just a great reading experience, overall.

      • ccplteenunderground

        It sounds wonderful! Plus, I’m much better able to handle tragedy in my reading these days than I was as a high school student reading Gatsby 🙂

    • Sara | Novel Novice

      MUCH better ending than We Were Liars (which I was not a fan of). The two books are really quite different.

  2. This one was fantastic – such vivid writing, and I agree about the story ending on an uplifting note (which I was very grateful for). Lovely review!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! I’m glad to be on #AtlantiaBelow with you too, and I can’t wait to see your post! 🙂

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