Louise Wilson is just barely managing to balance three jobs in New York City. After leaving a less than charming life behind in Vermont, she’s spending time tutoring kids and working in a coffee shop/wine bar, she’s all but given up on her dream of a writing career. Frustrated and exhausted, she’s delighted when she gets a call to tutor Cordelia, the sister of a wealthy socialite named Lavinia. The gig promises a big payout and Louise can certainly use the money. After several hours waiting for Lavinia to return to pay her for the tutoring session, Louise gets a big surprise. On top of Lavinia promising to pay her for every hour she was away, even those spent being a glorified babysitter for Cordelia, Louise will be her guest at one of the biggest parties in New York’s social scene. After a drunken magical night, Louise and Lavinia become inseparable. Most of the time, Lavinia pays the bill, but her behaviors are so off the wall that Louise never seems safe. Louise soon starts to lose all of her jobs and become completely dependent on the whims and charity of Lavinia. When Lavinia turns on Louise, a chance encounter will end up with someone dead and a social media cat and mouse game that is like a modern version of the Talented Mr. Ripley.
I could not put Tara Isabella Burton’s Social Creatures down. In fact, I found myself running back to this book during breaks and work and reading long into the night when I got home. Louise is a sympathetic narrator in the beginning, but about a quarter of the way through the reader starts to see her true devious nature. She is one the smartest, sneakiest, criminals in today’s fiction.
Tara Isabella Burton is definitely a talent to watch. If you’re a fan of the fiction of Gillian Flynn, you’re going to want to grab this one as soon as you can.
Social Creatures is available June 5, 2018 from Doubleday books.