The Magazine

Manhattan Melodrama

It's lonely at the top for these Fortysomething gals.

Nov 21, 2005, Vol. 11, No. 10 • By RACHEL DICARLO
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Bushnell's characters can be snobby and annoying, too, as when a whole scene revolves around Victory grudgingly taking the subway for the first time in years and becoming inspired for her next fashion collection by the ordinary women who ride the subway every day. Bushnell's feminist deconstructions of women and corporate America, which aren't worth getting into, are also a bit grating.

That said, Bushnell is by no means a dodgy writer. She's been compared to Edith Wharton and Jane Austen in the way she is able to ravage lovingly a society she knows inside and out. She packs her sentences with gorgeous turns of phrase and canny observations about people in New York. I personally missed the staccato, incomplete prose and second-person point of view that Bushnell made famous in Sex and the City. But, as her books always show us, you can't get everything you want.

Rachel DiCarlo is a Phillips Foundation fellow.