An exploration of high society in South Florida, A Palm Beach Wife delves into the status and tentative nature of the idealized lifestyle while focusing on a heroine who must find the balance between rejecting and embracing it all to succeed.
Faith Harris has fought hard to reach the top of the Palm Beach social scene, achieving it along with her successful and socially adept husband Edward and the favor and guidance of the “riped debutante” Alicia Ainsworth. To do so, Faith has embraced a system where “beauty and money are the criteria for friendship, love and country club memberships.”
She subscribes to the superficial diet of galas and charitable luncheons but not entirely for she comes from a more modest background, which gives her a unique perspective. Additionally, Faith chooses to work, rejecting a large part of the daytime social scene of country club sports and long, gossipy lunches. She’s the owner of Vintage Tales, a high-end reseller of designer goods, a place where the affluent can unload coveted designer bags and jewelry when financial trouble hits. Women who need to sell the accruements of the lifestyle know Faith can be trusted with their secrets.
But when Edward upends Faith’s life after poor investment decisions, she finds herself in a similar situation as some of her clients. Faith’s initial reaction is to try to hide the failure from the community as well as her daughter who has been groomed to be a Palm Beach socialite. She and Edward set out to make good on a promised charitable donation they can no longer afford merely to save face. Missing the note in the Palm Beach society is a social death knell. Edward contacts creditors, but when nothing materializes, he falls into greater despair and rekindles a long-dormant drug addiction.
Faith indulges in an escape of her own. However, Faith also experiences an epiphany that leads her to positive action. Faith determines how to use her shop to save her family while becoming a more significant asset to the women who need help in her community.
A lively read offering a window into the privileged world of the lives of Southern Florida socialites, this novel entertains until the surprising end.
A Palm Beach Wife is now available for purchase.
Meet Susannah Marren and listen to her talk about her novel on her upcoming national book tour.
About Susannah Marren
Susannah Marren is the author of Between the Tides and most recently A Palm Beach Wife. Susannah Marren is the pseudonym for Susan Shapiro Barash, who has written thirteen nonfiction books including Tripping the Prom Queen and Toxic Friends. She lives in New York City and teaches gender studies in the Writing Department at Marymount Manhattan College.