November 18, 2008

Book Review - The Devil in the Junior League

"It's Lee's details about how the blue-blood women dress, talk, decorate, entertain and conduct themselves that keep the pages turning . . . The Devil in the Junior League is sweetened ice tea on a hot afternoon, the correct daytime beverage of choice for all would-be debutantes."
USA Today

Reading is one of my very favorite things to do so I'm always looking for a good book. Recently I came across The Devil in the Junior League. I knew this would be a fun read because I've been thinking about trying to join my local chapter this spring. The book, by Linda Francis Lee, was quite fun and entertaining! Lee, a former Texas Junior Leaguer and debutante, tells the story of a woman living in the heart of Texas blue-blood society that finds out that money really doesn't buy happiness and some rules are meant to be broken. 

Fredericka Mercedes Hildebrand Ware (Frede to her friends) is a 28-year-old that hails from a family in the oil business. Having been brought up with exquisite etiquette, charming manners and an extravagant lifestyle, Frede has been taught to always be proper and live her life according to the rules — in this case the unspoken JLWC rules her mother has set before her. Frede believes beige is the new black and pearl's are a girl's best friend. A prominent member of Willow Creek society, Frede has it all — a perfect and tastefully decorated home, a handsome husband, an art gallery and her only worry being what lavish project she can come with next for the New Project committee. Frede, who is destined to follow in her mother's footsteps and become the next JLWC president, is shocked when her perfect world is pulled out from under her. One day she discovers her husband has betrayed her, stolen all her money and taken off to who knows where. Not wanting to ruin her elite status in town, Frede is forced to make a deal with her tasteless neighbor, Howard Grout, who will take on her case without payment if she can get his wife, Nikki, into the Junior League. Nikki, who wears wild NC (what the JLWC women call someone with no class) outfits of stilettos, spandex pants, feathers and animal prints, is not exactly JLWC material, but Frede takes on the case as it's her only option. As Frede tries to transform Nikki and Grout follows the money trail to find her husband, all experience a few twists and turns along the way as Frede begins to change and learns to live a little. 

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I'm sure some of the descriptions and details of the Junior League are exaggerated, so keep that in mind as it's meant to be a guilty pleasure read. Being a southern girl, I loved the southern style of writing. The book was full of "well, bless your hearts" and "verra veraas" (very, very) and lots of sweet tea, of course.

A few of the JLWC rules: Diamonds should never be worn before dinner (with the exception of an engagement ring) and a lady must never wear a watch after 6 p.m. One must be fully made up at all times no matter if she is going to the gym, grocery store or a dinner party. Never wear warm-ups, even the expensive kind made out of cashmere, unless you're on your way to the country club to play tennis or golf. Stilettos are a big no-no for committee meetings. Opt for Manolo flats or fabulous Ferragamo low heels instead. 

Frede's final word: If at first you fall on your face, the only acceptable response is to pick yourself up, refluff your hair, and go on bigger and better than ever.

Happy reading!  

Edited to add: The book is being turned into a movie starring Jennifer Garner!! Thanks Soon to be a Mrs. for letting me know! 


Soon to be a Mrs. said...

This book is great! Jennifer Garner has signed on to star in the film version... I can't wait. You should read The Ex-Debutante as well!

Kappa Prep said...

My mom just gave me this book as well at The Ex-Dubutant. How fun it is being made into a film!

Preppy 101 said...

Thank you for helping me with one more clever gift for my PD and BDiL for Christmas :) I may even have to treat myself to one. . .

Seaside Prep said...

I will have to grab this for holiday airplane reading!! :) I need to pick up the Ex-Debutant as well... Living in LA, I have been doing books on tape to get through nasty traffic... so I am about a year and a half behind the bestsellers. haha :)

Pink Maple said...

Hi there! I just came across your blog - thanks for sharing about this book! I recently read the Ex-Debutante and was thinking of trying another book by this author.

Lilly P. Wannabe said...

This book is so good!! I have it on tape and listened to it in the car on a trip... I didn't want to stop to eat or get gas! I am so excited they are making a movie!

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