Picks and Pans Review: Spoiled

updated 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Caitlin Macy |

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Focused on affluent thirtysomethings in pre-Madoff Manhattan, this eloquent collection illuminates subtle class distinctions and lends insight into lives fraught with self-inflicted vulnerabilities. In "The Red Coat," a woman is intimidated by her assertive cleaning lady. In "Christie," a self-righteous young wife scoffs at an ex-classmate's lavish lifestyle, then finds her real issues are with herself. The characters aren't always sympathetic, but they're candid—uttering truths we might hesitate to say. Spending time in Macy's world is like tasting your first caviar: more potent than you expect, and yet you want more.

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