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A debut author transforms Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth into a powerful modern story of one woman's struggle with independence and love. Ellie Hart made a brilliant marriage in New York, but it ended in a scandalous divorce and thirty days in Sierra Tucson rehab. Now, returning home to Cleveland, she finds that, despite feminist lip service, she will still need a husband to be socially complete. A woman's sexual reputation matters, and so does her family name in the treacherous social terrain where old money meets new: charitable benefits and tequila body shots, inherited diamonds and viper-bite lip piercings, country house weekends and sexting. Ellie finds that her beauty is a powerful tool in this world, but it has its limitations, even liabilities. Through one misstep after another, Ellie mishandles her second act. Her options narrow, her prospects contract, until she faces a desperate choice.
Claire McMillan grew up in Pasadena, California and now lives in Cleveland on her husband’s family’s farm with their three children. She practiced law until 2003 and then received her MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. This is her first novel.