PALM BEACH by Mary Adkins

From the publisher:

A thought-provoking page-turner from the author of When You Read This and Privilege that captures the painful divide between the haves and have-nots and the seductive lure of the American dream. 

Living in a tiny Queens apartment, Rebecca and her husband Mickey typify struggling, 30-something New Yorkers—he’s an actor, and she’s a freelance journalist. But after the arrival of their baby son, the couple decides to pack up and head for sunny, comfortable Palm Beach, where Mickey’s been offered a sweet deal managing the household of a multimillionaire Democratic donor. 

Once there, he quickly doubles his salary by going to work for a billionaire: venture capitalist Cecil Stone. Rebecca, a writer whose beat is economic inequality, is initially horrified: she pillories men like Stone, a ruthless businessman famous for crushing local newspapers. So no one is more surprised than her when she accepts a job working for Cecil’s wife as a ghostwriter, thinking of the excellent pay and the rare, inside look at this famous Forbes-list family. What she doesn’t expect is that she’ll grow close to the Stones, or become a regular at their high-powered dinners. And when a medical crisis hits, it’s the Stones who come to their rescue, using their power, influence, and wealth to avert catastrophe. 

As she and Mickey are both pulled deeper into this topsy-turvy household, they become increasingly dependent on their problematic benefactors. Then when she discovers a shocking secret about the Stones, Rebecca will have to decide: how many compromises can one couple make?




Are the rich different? Mary Adkins (Privilege) attempts to answer that in this entertaining read. Mickey, a Broadway actor, loses his voice and his career. He’s always hustled side jobs, and lucks into a full time job in Palm Beach for one of his clients and moves his wife and 8-month-old baby to Florida.

Mickey quickly finds an even better job as butler to a billionaire couple, the Stones, for twice the money, but his journalist wife, Rebecca, is horrified that he is considering working for the “vulture capitalist” who destroys every company he buys, but the money is too good to pass up, plus it leads to an opportunity for Rebecca to ghostwrite Mrs. Stone’s memoirs.

When the baby is diagnosed with a life threatening illness, the Stones come to the rescue, causing the young couple to reexamine their feelings about the Stones and the power of money.  

Verdict: Adkins offers great fodder for book discussions, and should appeal to readers who enjoyed The Darlings by Cristina Alger, Snobs by Julian Fellowes, or The Unfortunates by
Sophie McManus.

©Library Journal, 2021

8/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

PALM BEACH by Mary Adkins. Harper (August 3, 2021). ISBN: 978-0063011373. 304 pages.




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