GILDED AGE, by Claire McMillan

Who’d have thought so much went on in reportedly dull, midwestern Cleveland? The partial narrator, a young society woman, has returned to her home city with her handsome southern husband. Next to return is her old friend Ellie, the most beautiful woman in their crowd. Ellie, divorced, has returned to find a husband. Underemployed, extravagant, relying far too much on her beauty, she sets her cap for an unsuitable man, as her old friend watches the slowly-appearing but inevitable train wreck. Intricate, intense, this glimpse of old money and their antics, prejudices, customs, petty revenges and manipulations is completely fascinating. A 4+.