Friday, April 16, 2010

Club Rules-Andrew Trees

Club Rules
Andrew Trees
St. Martin’s, Mar 2010, $23.99
ISBN: 9780312570279

The Edna Glen Country Club contains several social levels besides the working stiffs who are in the ooze beneath the food chain whether they wear a suit or jeans. At the bottom rung are the devourers of their young hanger-ons hoping to find a way to make it up the ladder. Just above them in the pecking order are the sacrificial hopeful, which include most of the nouveau riche with an exceptional few higher up due to fame. Near the top are the most affluent preferably with old money making new money. Finally the royal rulers are Anne and Preston Baird Winthrop; their word is gospel while everyone worships the pair as the holy leadership due to the Winthrop Trusts; all covet them and thrive to replace them as monarchs.

When the first flaw in the perfect regal marriage occurs, vultures arrive with hopes and scheme to move up the ladder. Anne believes Preston is cheating, but not sure with who though she has guesses. Norman Bond plans to take advantage of Anne's suspicions as he tries to move past being the court jester butt of vicious jokes to become her loyal confederate and protector; even while his moves angers his recently born again wife. Scandal is in the air and everyone at the Country Club plots to use someone else's misery to rise in the pecking order.

Using a country club as a microcosm of society, Andrew Trees provides a powerful poignant look at class warfare. Each rung of the food chain has rules while the entire ecosystem also has rules in a sort of Lord of the Flies crossed with the Ugly American meets The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Everyone is skewed as double bogeys are the country Club Rules.

Harriet Klausner

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