Picks and Pans Review: The Palm Beach Story
In Pulitzer's Palm Beach, the women are beautiful, the men dashing and the sex beyond torrid. When not frolicking between the Porthault sheets, her overpampered denizens are buying baubles at Cartier and looking down their finely sculpted noses at anyone who is NOKD ("Not Our Kind, Dear"). Which is exactly how they view magazine photographer Meg MacDermott and her publisher, Hank Shaw, who come to chronicle its old-money occupants.
But before Meg has scarcely had time to rig up her light meter, she strikes up an affair with rakish playboy Spencer Kendall, and Shaw begins wooing the unhappily married Countess Monteverdi. Will love win out over class distinctions? Does Dom Pérignon make champagne?
The novel's end, of course, proves about as predictable as the steamy sex scenes that cap most chapters. Still, Pulitzer knows a bit about upper-class excess, and her eye for decadent details makes for an entertaining look at the lifestyles of the rich and shallow. (Simon & Schuster, $22)