Palm Beach: A Novel (Hardcover)
“Becomes increasingly difficult to put down. . . . The novel is itself like a sandy beach, equal parts beautiful and uncomfortable. . . . Lines blur and expectations aren’t met, keeping readers on their toes. . . . makes for a surprisingly fast-paced Palm Beach.” —Associated Press
A thought-provoking page-turner from the author of When You Read This and Privilege that captures the painful divide between the haves and have-nots and the seductive lure of the American dream.
Living in a tiny Queens apartment, Rebecca and her husband Mickey typify struggling, 30-something New Yorkers—he’s an actor, and she’s a freelance journalist. But after the arrival of their baby son, the couple decides to pack up and head for sunny, comfortable Palm Beach, where Mickey’s been offered a sweet deal managing the household of a multimillionaire Democratic donor.
Once there, he quickly doubles his salary by going to work for a billionaire: venture capitalist Cecil Stone. Rebecca, a writer whose beat is economic inequality, is initially horrified: she pillories men like Stone, a ruthless businessman famous for crushing local newspapers. So no one is more surprised than her when she accepts a job working for Cecil’s wife as a ghostwriter, thinking of the excellent pay and the rare, inside look at this famous Forbes-list family. What she doesn’t expect is that she’ll grow close to the Stones, or become a regular at their high-powered dinners. And when a medical crisis hits, it’s the Stones who come to their rescue, using their power, influence, and wealth to avert catastrophe.
As she and Mickey are both pulled deeper into this topsy-turvy household, they become increasingly dependent on their problematic benefactors. Then when she discovers a shocking secret about the Stones, Rebecca will have to decide: how many compromises can one couple make?
About the Author
Mary Adkins is the author of When You Read This, Privilege, and Palm Beach. A native of the American South and a graduate of Duke University and Yale Law School, her writing has appeared in the New York Times and the Atlantic. She also teaches storytelling for The Moth. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Palm Beach centers on a 30-something married couple who pull up stakes and relocate with their newborn son to South Florida, where they become increasingly, uncomfortably close to a billionaire VC and his wife.”
— Bustle, “20 Books to Read if You Love Sally Rooney”
"Mary Adkins’ PALM BEACH is a rare page-turner that gives you all the fun and decadence of a beach read while exploring the relevant issues around wealth inequity. I opened it up and could not stop reading!"
— Jessica Anya Blau, author of Mary Jane
“A look inside the world of the ultra-rich, PALM BEACH offers up moral complexity, page-turning plotting, and deep insight into motherhood and family. Delicious, addictive, whip-smart and full of heart.”
— Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen
"A smart page-turner."
— Palm Beach Daily News
“Poses serious questions relatable to many readers in addition to being an entertaining, quick read. . . . Adkins’ latest has plenty of substance. . . . Palm Beach would certainly generate lively discussion among book club members and may have you questioning what you would do in a similar situation.”
“A unique twist on a fish-out-of-water story centered on a couple who relocate to Palm Beach from New York City. . . . Fans of Jojo Moyes and Sally Rooney will appreciate Adkins’ talent in weaving subtle events together to create complex characters whose persuasions evolve throughout.”
“An entertaining read. . . . Adkins offers great fodder for book club discussions; her novel should appeal to readers who enjoyed Cristina Alger’s The Darlings, Julian Fellowes’s Snobs, or Sophie McManus’s The Unfortunates.”
— Library Journal
“Delves into the world of Florida’s wealthy excess. . . . it’ll keep readers turning the pages.”
— Publishers Weekly