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Fans of haute Manhattan will appreciate the setting of the stories Macy is an astute social observer, but observant details do not a short story make The characters never reach self actualization realization reflection and the reader remains ultimately dissatisfied. This well written collection of short stories about the rich, mostly women and mostly those born in the 70 s, is similar to the work done by John Cheever, John Updike and Richard Yates Revolutionary Road 40 or 50 years ago It pokes fun and not so fun at the rich and privileged whose emphasis is on the good life boarding schools, nannies, buying that great apartment in NYC Caitlin Macy pulls the rug out from under the rich and famous Each story presents us with a character, only to hav This well written collection of short stories about the rich, mostly women and mostly those born in the 70 s, is similar to the work done by John Cheever, John Updike and Richard Yates Revolutionary Road 40 or 50 years ago It pokes fun and not so fun at the rich and privileged whose emphasis is on the good life boarding schools, nannies, buying that great apartment in NYC Caitlin Macy pulls the rug out from under the rich and famous Each story presents us with a character, only to have this character fall flat on her face in some way You will be happier that each of these shallow creatures learned her lesson after reading the stories I gave it a 5 because the writing and premise of each story really worked and I was entertained thoroughly The author, a graduate of Yale and the good life knows what she s talking about so you know you re getting a front row seat to the truth I recommend mostly to women, who can relate the best, but a wonderful read for anyone who likes short stories that work, which is sometimes no easy feat You know, I don t demand that protagonists be likable, but it does make a book easier to read when someone, anyone in the book isn t totally unpleasant Technically well written short stories, but I ended up thinking, what s the point Spoiled chronicles the self consciousness of the liberal elite, as they are labeled in the media these days educated, politically correct upper middle class individuals most in their late twenties to mid thirties, but one a teenager who know better than to dismiss those who don t have what they do Embarrassed by their privileges, they re uneasy about having gotten what they wanted whether it be a wealthy husband, a horse, an enviable home, an acting or writing career or not having to work Spoiled chronicles the self consciousness of the liberal elite, as they are labeled in the media these days educated, politically correct upper middle class individuals most in their late twenties to mid thirties, but one a teenager who know better than to dismiss those who don t have what they do Embarrassed by their privileges, they re uneasy about having gotten what they wanted whether it be a wealthy husband, a horse, an enviable home, an acting or writing career or not having to work at all without making any great compromises or strugglingfirst Contrary to the title, these are women who make an especial effort not to vocalize their critical thoughts about others, but do what they can to please both loved ones and strangers As one narrator notes, I ll never be one of the careless richThis will never not be a luxury p 194 In the course of each of these well written, sufficiently developed stories, all of whose narrators have individuated pasts and preoccupations without being burdened by unnecessary information, the narrators all but one being female are made to reconsider their assumptions about their own choices and behavior This is a collection about people being humbled by looking at themselves from another s perspective As predictably as the twist in every O Henry story ending, the last lines of each story shed new light on the subject of the narrator s disapproval, annoyance, and condescension and force them not to simply try to make a good impression in front of others but to empathize with the target of their ire They also point the finger at you, the reader, for implicitly nodding in agreement to the narrator s biases and judgments For the most part, this is a successful pattern, though The Secret Vote tries too hard to tie the 2004 presidential election to a woman s decision whether to continue a pregnancy, while another story, Bait and Switch, ends with too lengthy a lecture to the self in an unconvincing gush of personal and familial insight What The Secret Vote does offer, though, is this interesting insight into our own system of judging Poor Maureen had never discovered that a new morality had overtaken the old, and the former was all about maintaining personal boundaries talk to the hand, dump that addict friend, wash that problem person out of your hair, and congratulate yourself afterward on your inner growth p 50 It gives you a lot to think about, no Eden s Gate is the most successful in making the reader feel the awkwardness and tension of a situation in which you re not sure whom if anyone to side with in an argument, whether one partner is being too light hearted or the other too serious and dramatic, whether the right thing to do is agree with your partner when he or she is being willfully self righteous or take a stand on what seems right to you, even if it means taking the side of a stranger This story best achieves the social and moral tightrope that Macy tries to pull off in the other stories, in which we re made to wonder if we ve been too quick to judge or not been empathetic enough Turning the previous stories predictable setup on its head, Taroudant gives a refreshing end to the collection by presenting a narrator who is stubborn, difficult to please, and bizarrely critical We re sure of what to think of her till the final scene, which puts all her pettiness in a new light and makes us question why we ever believed we understood the characters from what little was shown us I look forward to reading Macy s first book now Some good, some not I skipped some stories entirely when the first page did not catch my interestbut then I guess that s the beauty in a book of short stories Unfortunately I only read three quarters of the book since it came due at the library and I couldn t imagine paying late fees on a book I didn t like that much I didn t find many of the characters likeable andoften than not was just annoyed with them. I started this book thinking it would be something kind of bubble gummy, but it actually wasn t at all The protagonists of each story are, for the most part, well educated women some who are independently wealthy and others striving to be Based on the title of the book I expected an indictment of the lifestyles of the rich, and that element did exist, but Macy proves herself a clever writer The true indictments have nothing to do with socio economic class as they do with mindset as evinc I started this book thinking it would be something kind of bubble gummy, but it actually wasn t at all The protagonists of each story are, for the most part, well educated women some who are independently wealthy and others striving to be Based on the title of the book I expected an indictment of the lifestyles of the rich, and that element did exist, but Macy proves herself a clever writer The true indictments have nothing to do with socio economic class as they do with mindset as evinced through the thoughts and expectations of the characters Interestingly, I related to many of the thoughts and expectations of the characters, I m sure it was Macy s intention that most readers would relate For a moment, as a reader, I felt the writer s finger pointing at me I appreciate that Ugh, I just can t do it I read two stories Christie and Spoiled and was ready to put the book down.as in a slow, painless death Then I read the reviews on Goodreads, which were predominately positive, and thought I d give another story a chance so I read Annabel s Mother Still can t do this book The topics seem so shallow, the situations so canned and the writing mediocre. I m looking forward to rereading this in 1 3 years time. (READ KINDLE) · Spoiled ⚞ BONUS This edition contains a Spoiled discussion guideA young woman does a good deed for her nanny, only to have it go horribly wrong A newly married woman struggles to gain the upper hand with her self assured cleaning woman An anxious woman desperate for an authentic experience makes a rash decision to leave the grounds of her Moroccan luxury hotel In this sophisticated and provocative story collection, acclaimed author Caitlin Macy turns her unsparing eye on well heeled thirtysomething women who, despite their education and affluence, struggle to keep their footing in their relationships with their friends, spouses, and children not to mention their help Full of surprising, sometimes shocking insights and brimming with outrage and compassion, Spoiled is a remarkable collection from a boldly talented writer I checked this book out because it got great reviews but I couldn t get into it I read the first two short stories and then put the book down So not that great of a read to me.