The Best of Everything

Rona Jaffe

The Best of Everything

When it first published in 1958, Rona Jaffe's debut novel electrified readers who saw themselves reflected in its story of five young employees of a New York publishing company. There's Ivy League Caroline, who dreams of graduating from the typing pool to an editor's office; naive country girl April, who within months of hitting town reinvents herself as the woman every man wants on his arm; Gregg, the free-spirited actress with a secret yearning for domesticity. Now a classic, and as page-turning as when it first came out, The Best of Everything portrays their lives and passions with intelligence, affection, and prose as sharp as a paper cut. 3.8 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
The Best of Everything

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Paperback
Pages 464
RRP £8.99
Date of Publication May 2011
ISBN 978-0141196312
Publisher Penguin
 

When it first published in 1958, Rona Jaffe's debut novel electrified readers who saw themselves reflected in its story of five young employees of a New York publishing company. There's Ivy League Caroline, who dreams of graduating from the typing pool to an editor's office; naive country girl April, who within months of hitting town reinvents herself as the woman every man wants on his arm; Gregg, the free-spirited actress with a secret yearning for domesticity. Now a classic, and as page-turning as when it first came out, The Best of Everything portrays their lives and passions with intelligence, affection, and prose as sharp as a paper cut.

Reviews

The Guardian

Rachel Cooke

The emotional lives of these women are beautifully drawn, and Jaffe makes piercing use of the contrast between the surface allure of New York and the drab rooms they share ... It is, I think, the perfect summer read: juicy, involving and classy.

08/05/2011

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The Independent

Joan Smith

Indeed the novel is almost a very early SATC, following five main characters to the TV series' four and revealing their difficulties with boyfriends, money and predatory bosses. In another parallel with SATC, New York is almost a character in its own right ... it's clear that Jaffe was writing proto-feminist fiction for an audience of women readers who would later move on to the feminist classics.

09/05/2011

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The Guardian

Eleanor Birne

Like Mad Men, the novel revels in the promise and the glitter of New York. Its characters drink Scotch in dark bars, ride around in taxis and smoke plenty of cigarettes. There are sparkling passages of writing that track the minute-by-minute ups and downs of the characters' confidence and insecurities.

28/05/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

Viv Groskop

The Best of Everything is unashamedly, joyously commercial, the sort of novel you read in the bath and it doesn’t matter if you drop it in. It has all the hallmarks of the page-turning bestseller. Large cast of women? Tick. Lots of sex and shopping? Tick. Cocktails, high heels, diets, badly behaved men, broken dreams, lucky breaks, wedding bells? Tick, tick, tick. It’s chick-lit before the term was invented

13/05/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Lesley McDowell

Jaffe's debut novel is hardly a feminist tome – all her girls are chasing after the perfect husband – but she does show the irresistible lead-up to the calls for women's lib ... Jaffe tells of young women negotiating their brave new world with verve and wit.

22/05/2011

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