By Lucinda Rosenfeld

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Named one of the Best Books of 2017 by the Philadelphia Inquirer: All hell breaks loose in the liberal bubble when a mother’s life spirals out of control when she’s forced to rethink her bleeding heart ideals.

For Karen Kipple, it isn’t enough that she works full-time in the nonprofit sector for an organization that helps children from disadvantaged homes. She’s also determined to live her personal life in accordance with her ideals. This means sending her daughter, Ruby, to an integrated public school in their Brooklyn neighborhood.

But when a troubled student from a nearby housing project begins bullying children in Ruby’s class, the distant social and economic issues Karen has always claimed to care about so passionately begin to feel uncomfortably close to home. A daring, discussable satire about gentrification and liberal hypocrisy, Class is also a smartly written story that reveals how life as we live it — not as we like to imagine it — often unfolds in gray areas.









White people cannot, in the generality, be taken as models of how to live.

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time


The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many friends.

Proverbs 14:20


Karen Kipple had always been an early riser. She relished the quiet, the calm, the way the light filtered through the sycamore tree in front of her south-facing kitchen window, and the sensation of having the house to herself, if only for an hour or two. Was it terrible to admit that she never loved her daughter and husband so much as when they were asleep? She also liked studying the forecast while she drank her first cup of coffee of the day—checking projected temperatures against monthly averages and feeling appropriately blessed or outraged. As a child, Karen had made fun of grown-ups who were always going on about the weather; what could be duller? But as she’d gotten older, she’d found herself endlessly diverted by the seeming randomness and unpredictability of the sky overhead.

Karen had been married for ten years and, for the last five of them, had been the director of development for a small nonprofit devoted to tackling childhood hunger in the United States. For the past two years, she’d also been trying to write an op-ed, which she hoped one day to publish in a major newspaper, about the relationship between nutrition and school readiness. Like many women, she struggled to balance the demands of motherhood and career, always convinced that she was shortchanging one or the other. But it was also true that, insofar as she’d long conflated leisure with laziness, her eight-year-old daughter, Ruby, provided her with a permanent alibi in the criminal case of Karen Kipple versus herself. Thanks to Ruby, Karen always felt busy and needed even when she wasn’t officially working. And the permanent sense of obligation came by and large as a relief.

The only part of Karen’s domestic routine that she consistently dreaded was getting her daughter up for school. Not only was Ruby a heavy sleeper who was almost always comatose when her alarm went off, but Constance C. Betts Elementary had recently moved up its start time to eight a.m. to accommodate the schedules of the teachers who lived in faraway suburbs and wanted to beat the traffic. Never mind that Betts was only three blocks away from the family’s spacious two-bedroom condo in a converted nineteenth-century macaroni factory. Or that plenty of the students seemed to have no trouble arriving an hour early for the free breakfast, having commuted from parts of the city that, in some cases, Karen had never been to. Although Betts was a neighborhood school, it welcomed those from outside Cortland Hill as well, if only because it struggled to fill its seats with families who lived in zone. To Karen’s shame and chagrin, Ruby often arrived late.

The morning in question, an unseasonably cold one in mid-March, began typically. Karen walked into Ruby’s bedroom at 7:20 and found her daughter stock-still with her goldfish-motif quilt pulled over her head. Karen placed her hand on the lump below the quilt and gently rotated her from left to right. “Sweetie, it’s time to get up.”

There was no answer. Karen jostled and cajoled some more. Another three minutes went by, then four. Finally, there was movement, then a voice: “Leave me alone.”

Karen had learned not to take Ruby’s morning grumpiness personally. “I wish I could,” she said. “But school is starting in exactly thirty-five minutes. And I’ve already given you an extra five. Plus, I made you eggs, and they’re getting cold.”

“Eggs are gross” came the reply. “They come out of chickens’ butts.”

“Well, then, you can just eat the toast,” said Karen. There was more silence. Losing patience, Karen yanked the quilt off her daughter and said, “Get. Up. Now.”

Finally, with a deep groan, Ruby rolled over, rubbed her eyes, and said, “What day is it?” Her flyaway brown hair looked like a bird’s nest.


“I have gym today. I need to wear sneakers.”

“Do you want me to get your sparkly ones?”

“Mr. Ronald is so strict,” said Ruby, ignoring Karen’s question. “He’s always yelling at everyone, and he blows this whistle in your ear if you don’t do what he says.”

Karen sat down on the edge of the bed and leaned toward her daughter. “Don’t tell anyone I told you this,” she said, tucking a section of tangled hair around Ruby’s ear. “But all the mean kids in school become gym teachers when they grow up.”

Ruby seemed confused by the pronouncement. “All of them?” she asked, wrinkling her nose.

Karen considered the idea that, just maybe, she should have qualified her comments. What if Ruby repeated them to Mr. Ronald? Or—God forbid—what if Ruby became a gym teacher when she grew up? “Well, not all of them, but many of them,” she said. “Now, come on! It’s the community-unit celebration this morning, so Mommy is actually coming to school with you.”

This piece of news seemed instantly to alter Ruby’s exhaustion level. “Yay!” she cried, bolting upright and throwing her legs over the side of her twin bed. In fact, Ruby’s third-grade teacher had invited all the parents into the classroom that morning to view the breakfast-cereal boxes that, in keeping with a study unit on community, her students had decorated to look like civic buildings and storefronts.

It was 7:50 when Ruby and Karen finally put on their coats to leave. “Let’s go wake up your lazybones father and say good-bye,” said Karen, who never missed an opportunity to guilt her husband about his own struggles to remove himself from their bed. An incorrigible night owl, Matt often stayed up until two a.m. watching sports and reading left-wing political blogs. He could also sleep through a fire alarm. “Daddddddy, we’re leaving,” cried Ruby, half running down the hall, her knapsack flapping against her back.

“Rise and shine!” said Karen, following Ruby into the room and yanking on the shade cord to reveal a sharp-taloned sun.

“What time is it?” Matt muttered into his pillow.

“Time to get up,” said Karen.

“Mommy says you’re a lazybones!” said Ruby.

“Come here, you little whippersnapper,” said Matt, reaching for Ruby’s arm with his own impressively muscled one and pulling her into the bed, where he began to tickle and kiss her.

Ruby laughed and squealed. “Help! Daddy’s keeping me captive.”

“You actually have to let her go,” said Karen. “Ruby’s class is having its community-unit celebration this morning, and it’s literally starting in six minutes.”

“Shoot—why didn’t you wake me up?” he said, reluctantly releasing Ruby and squinting at Karen. “I would have come.”

“Oh, please,” said Karen, making a superior face. “You were out cold.”

The truth was that, although Matt’s failure to help get Ruby up and out in the morning annoyed Karen in theory, in practice she found it easier to do it herself, without another tired and hungry body in the way—and doing everything the wrong way. The few times that school year that Matt had made lunch for Ruby, he’d put her sandwich loose in her lunch box and it had fallen apart. And then, according to Ruby, and even more traumatically, it had gotten soiled by an also-unwrapped pear.


Karen and Ruby arrived in the classroom with one minute to spare. There were just over a dozen parents in attendance, most but not all of them women. The majority of them were in jeans or sweats. A couple of them sported office attire. One mother, a smiley Yemeni woman whom Karen always exchanged warm hellos with, was wearing a long skirt and hijab. Karen had tried and failed to retain the woman’s hard-to-pronounce name in her memory, and now it seemed too late, too insensitive, and too embarrassing to ask what it was again. Of course, what qualified as embarrassing was all a matter of perspective. At Ruby’s eighth birthday party the year before, the woman’s out-of-control daughter, Chahrazad, had gratuitously flashed her Hello Kitty underpants at a male classmate while belting out the pop-song lyric “‘Heeeeeeyyyy, sexy lady,’” an awkward incident that Karen had still found less mortifying than the fact that, after the party, Chahrazad’s mother had stood in front of Karen’s building, forbidden, Karen had concluded, from entering another man’s home.

While Ruby went to the closet to put away her coat and backpack, Karen made her way over to her best mom-friend in the class, Louise Bailey, who went by Lou. A freelance publicist and semi-stay-at-home mother of two—she had a daughter in fifth grade named DuBois and a son in Ruby’s third-grade class named Zeke—Lou was also, hands down, the most stylish mother at Betts, if not the only stylish mother at Betts. “It’s ridiculous how amazing you look,” said Karen, who that morning, like every morning, was wearing nondescript basics in black and gray. Although she’d given up trying to be fashionable more than a decade ago, she still appreciated others who hadn’t.

“Oh, please,” said Lou, who was six years younger, three inches taller, ten pounds thinner, and wearing leather stovepipe jeans and a nubbly poncho she’d knit herself.

“Meanwhile, the excitement builds,” said Karen.

“Can’t you see me holding my breath?”

“I need more caffeine.”

“Hands off, girl.” Lou clutched her travel mug to her chest.

“No fair.”

“I bet you slept more than me last night.”

“I bet you I didn’t,” said Karen, a chronic insomniac who had grown accustomed to getting by on five or six broken hours of sleep.

“Don’t waste your money,” said Lou. “DuBois threw up six times between midnight and five.”

“Oh no. And okay, you win—”

“Welcome, parents of Room Three-oh-three!” Ruby’s teacher, Tammy Hunt, shouted to be heard over the buzz of collected parents. A broad-shouldered, ruddy-faced triathlete of twenty-six, Miss Tammy had been an Outward Bound leader along the Canadian border before getting her master’s in education. Her energy, dedication, and enthusiasm were still in evidence. So was her ability to command large groups of white-water rafters spread out across a quarter mile. “Over the past several weeks,” she went on in a shockingly loud voice, “your awesome kids have been busy creating their own amazing community!”

“Ow,” muttered Karen.

“And today we’re inviting you to come explore it and to be the people in our neighborhood,” Miss Tammy continued to trumpet.

“Where’s Mr. Rogers?” Lou muttered back.

In suppressing a giggle—as a child, she’d belonged precisely to the Mister Rogers–watching public-television demographic—Karen accidentally released a noise that fell between a grunt and a snort. At the same moment, Ruby returned from the coat closet. “Mommy, come see!” she said, taking her mother by the wrist and leading her to the back of the classroom.

There, lined up atop a row of paint-splattered base cabinets, converted breakfast-cereal boxes formed a miniature skyline. A box of Frosted Flakes had been turned into a firehouse. A Life Cinnamon cereal had become a police station. A Nature’s Path Organic Heritage Flakes box was now a grocery store. And a jumbo-size Cheerios, donated by Karen—Cheerios being the one mass-market cereal she was currently willing to buy—was a bank.

Or, at least, Karen assumed it was a bank, given the fact that her daughter had covered the box with royal-blue dollar signs. Unless it was supposed to be a pawnshop? Did her daughter know what a pawnshop was? Karen was contemplating the likely answer—to her knowledge, there was only one pawnshop still left in her actual neighborhood, no doubt soon to be shuttered and reborn as another luxury town-house development featuring oil-rubbed-bronze bath fixtures and radiant flooring—when Ruby lifted her gray-green eyes to her mother and said, “Do you like my Citibank?”

“Sweetie, Citibank is just the name of one particular bank,” Karen said quickly. She was alarmed to think that her daughter had so thoroughly internalized a corporate brand that it had become interchangeable in her mind with the thing itself. Never mind the brand’s contribution to the financial crisis of 2008. Though from what Karen had read, all the big banks were to blame. And besides, as a fund-raising professional, she relied on the largesse of financial-industry executives. “I think you just mean bank,” she went on.

“Bank—whatever,” said Ruby, clearly annoyed.

“I know that was all you meant,” said Karen. “Anyway, you did a great job with the decorations!”

The sound of metal legs skidding across linoleum refocused her attention. It was followed by a piercing yowl. Karen turned toward the commotion and found Ruby’s best-friend-of-the-moment, Maeve, cupping her face and wailing. Two feet away, Jayyden, a boy who had been in Ruby’s class two years in a row, stood motionless, his arms crossed and his lower lip and jaw extended. Within seconds, it became clear that there was blood rushing out of Maeve’s nose. Miss Tammy, who had no doubt honed her emergency management skills leading a dogsled team across the frozen tundra of Boundary Waters, Minnesota, rushed to the scene. After expertly wrangling the girl into a chair and instructing her to tilt her head back, she turned to the parents and began issuing rapid-fire instructions: “Someone grab me a paper towel,” “Call the school nurse,” “Call the principal,” “Have the main office contact Maeve’s parents.”

Wanting to be useful and feeling vaguely proprietary of Maeve, Karen offered herself up for the last task. But another parent had beat her to it. So Karen found herself standing helplessly with the others in a circle that had formed around the child and her immediate caretakers. This group soon included the school nurse, a squat-legged woman of indeterminate age, who quickly succeeded in stanching the blood flow.

Only then did Miss Tammy turn to the culprit. “Jayyden,” she said. “Would you like to tell me what you had to do with this?”

It was several seconds before he spoke. “She told me my firehouse looked stupid,” he mumbled plaintively. “Like me.”

Tammy grimaced; cooperation and respect were her two big classroom themes. “That was not respectful of Maeve to say,” she said. “But it also does not give you the right to punch her!” At that very moment, Karen could have sworn she heard Maeve ramp up the sniveling. “You’re in seriously big trouble now, buddy,” Miss Tammy went on with a quick laugh, her head waggling.

“Oooooh” went the more vocal members of the class, intuiting that this could only mean one thing for Jayyden: a visit to the office of Betts’s longtime principal, Regina Chambers. An elegant African American woman in her midfifties, Principal Chambers had exceptionally good posture and a life-size cardboard cutout of President Obama next to her desk. Nearly everyone at the school was intimidated by her, Karen included, with the possible exception of a bunch of well-meaning Caucasian kindergarten mothers, new to the school and likely soon to depart it, who were constantly complaining about how the milk served in the cafeteria came from hormone-treated cows.

Of course, none of the same mothers would be caught dead letting little Henry or Tessa anywhere near the school lunch, instead packing aseptic eight-ounce cartons of organic vanilla milk in their children’s bento lunch boxes, next to BPA-free Tupperware filled with fresh berries. Indeed, the only children at Betts who partook of Taco Tuesdays and Fish Finger Fridays were the ones getting it for free. But that was another matter…

In response to Miss Tammy’s warning, Jayyden hung his head—so low that his chin was nearly touching his neck. All the better to hide his own tears, Karen suspected. As she stood watching the unfolding scene, her brain swirled with conflicting emotions. She couldn’t help but feel that, to a certain extent, Maeve deserved it. In that moment, Maeve may have been the victim. But Karen hadn’t forgotten how the child had come to her house for a playdate recently and peed in the bathroom trash can, or the time that Karen had taken her and Ruby out for overpriced whoopee pies at the “old-fashioned” bakeshop up the street, and Maeve had spit at the waitress.

Karen tried not to judge how other people raised their children, but in truth, she rarely missed an opportunity to do so. And in her opinion, Laura Collier and Evan Shaw, who co-owned a production company that specialized in TV and web commercials, were doing a fairly shitty job. They’d essentially farmed out the parenting to a rotating cast of Tibetan nannies who seemed to quit every three months because they were paid substandard wages yet were expected to do the grocery shopping and cook and clean as well as child-mind. Meanwhile, the amount of time Laura and Evan spent with Maeve and her younger brother seemed to be inversely proportional to the number of pictures they posted of them on Facebook and Instagram. They also ran an almost impossibly tight ship (from afar), insisting that their children wear sunscreen 365 days a year and abstain from all foods containing added sugar. Was it any wonder that, according to Ruby, Maeve hoarded Tootsie Rolls under her bed?

But then, was Karen any less neurotic or uptight than Laura about sun protection and sucrose?

And was it any surprise that Jayyden had hit Maeve? Poor, unloved Jayyden. From what Karen had heard around school, Jayyden’s mother was in prison. And he’d never met his father, if such an individual could even be identified. As a result, he was reputed to live with someone named Aunt Carla and various cousins in a public housing project, Fairview Gardens, on the edge of the neighborhood. The project consisted of half a dozen mid-rise 1960s-era brick buildings with small barred windows. If there was any flora or fauna to be found around its concrete courtyards, Karen hadn’t seen it. Friends in the neighborhood sometimes referred to the place ironically as the pro-jay—that is, as if it were fancy and French. (They called the big box store Target, Tar-jay, for the same reason.) Of course, it was just the opposite. That was the joke. Karen still hadn’t determined if it was offensive or funny.

In all her time in Cortland Hill, Karen had entered Fairview Gardens only once—on a charity mission with Ruby’s predominantly white Girl Scout troop, the year before. (The residents of Fairview Gardens were almost entirely black.) The Daisies had been working on their Rose Petal, an embroidered uniform badge whose coordinating motto was “Make the world a better place,” when a ferocious storm had cut off electricity to the buildings in the project for more than a week. It had been the troop leader’s idea for the girls to make and deliver platters of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to Fairview’s community center. Karen had supported the plan wholeheartedly and offered to help. But entering the community center, a desolate affair featuring haphazardly arranged metal fold-up chairs, a Ping-Pong table with no net, and not a soul in sight, Karen had been simultaneously embarrassed and frightened. Reports of gang-related shootings at Fairview Gardens were not uncommon.

There was a personal angle to Karen’s sympathy for Jayyden as well. In the beginning of second grade, he’d taken to imitating Ruby and, on those days when Karen picked Ruby up from school, and even though he hardly knew Karen, coming over to embrace her as if she were his own mother. As she’d patted his head and said, “Hello, sweetie,” she’d felt proud and despondent in equal parts. He’d cut out the behavior after a month or two. Sometime the following spring, Karen heard rumors that an unnamed relative had been found to be abusing Jayyden. Children’s Services had become involved. For a nanosecond, Karen imagined taking Jayyden into her home as a foster child, but then realized it was probably beyond her capabilities. Besides, who knew if Jayyden would even want to come? In any case, it had become clear in recent months that Jayyden had serious behavioral problems, if not an actual violent streak. Even before today, there had been reports of shoving and hair-pulling. A year older and larger than his third-grade classmates—he’d been left behind in kindergarten for not knowing his letters or colors yet—he’d also begun to cut a figure in the classroom that Karen imagined other children might find, as much as she hated to put it this way and as confident as she was that it had nothing to do with the color of his skin, physically intimidating.

But it was also the case that Karen aspired to a life spent making a difference and helping those less fortunate than herself. She tried to live in accordance with the politics and principles she believed in. These included the notion that public education was a force for good and that, without racially and economically integrated schools, equal opportunity couldn’t exist. And so, the year Ruby turned five, Karen had happily enrolled her at Betts, aware that it lacked the reputation for academic excellence of other schools nearby but pleased that Ruby would be exposed to children who were less privileged than herself.

Yet over the previous three-plus years, a part of Karen had also come to feel thankful for any and all middle-class Caucasian or Asian children who attended Betts—and desirous that there should be more. (At present, the white population of the school hovered around 25 percent.) The truth was that she’d yet to grow entirely comfortable with being in the minority. Nor had she ever fully recovered from the shock of walking into Ruby’s new classroom on her first day of kindergarten and finding herself gazing out on what appeared to her eyes to be a sea of beaded braids, buzz cuts, and neon backpacks with rubberized cartoon decals that ran counter to her finely honed bourgeois-bohemian aesthetic sensibility, which prized natural materials and a muted palette.

Karen had also failed to fully exorcise the deep-seated fear that a school having both an abundant population of brown and tan children and middling standardized test scores, as Betts did, must by definition offer an inferior educational experience.

But she also saw the school’s diversity was an educational experience unto itself and, once or twice, had even felt teary-eyed at the spectacle and promise of so many beautiful children of so many different hues and hair types walking down the hall together.

And by any measure, Ruby had done well at Betts. A voracious reader, she was also proficient in adding, subtracting, and even early multiplication; sociable to the point of overbearing; and knowledgeable about many of the great figures of U.S. history, in particular Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. In kindergarten, the white children in Ruby’s class had had to sit in the back of the classroom for a period to see how it felt. And according to Ruby, her class had completed the same study unit on MLK four years in a row. Ruby could even recite the date he’d married Coretta (June 18, 1953). At Betts, it sometimes seemed to Karen that every month was Black History Month—except when it was Latino History Month. In keeping with the new Common Core curriculum, Ruby had recently written an “informative text,” as essays were now known, on Cesar Chavez’s advocacy on behalf of Latino migrant workers. Karen knew this because, out to dinner with her family one night, Ruby had asked the waitress if the Caesar salad was named after the aforementioned man, drawing a bemused look from the woman. Which Karen had found hilarious and embarrassing at the same time. “Sweetie, it’s probably named after Julius Caesar,” Karen had told her.

“Who’s that?” Ruby asked—a question that Karen had found less charming.

Later, Karen learned that Caesar salad was actually named after the restaurateur Caesar Cardini—and felt foolish herself and a little more forgiving of her daughter and her school.

Yet during parent-teacher conferences, when Miss Tammy informed Karen that Ruby was the strongest reader in the class—or, in Miss Tammy’s words, the “most awesome reader in Room Three-oh-three”—Karen’s first thought was not pride but paranoia that Ruby’s classmates must all be behind.


Moments after Nurse Smith led a still sniveling, now bandaged Maeve out of the classroom, Principal Chambers appeared in the doorway in a black pants suit and low heels, her expression stern. After a low-voiced conference with Miss Tammy in the corner, she took Jayyden by the back of his shirt collar and marched him out of the classroom. The other students looked on in stunned silence. The mood had shifted from celebration to sobriety.

“Fun morning,” quipped Lou.

“What that kid needs is a serious whupping,” muttered Sa’Ryah’s mother, Desiree Johnston, an attractive single mother in her late twenties who worked in a Medicaid office.


  • "Stiletto a series of skillfully executed set pieces, Rosenfeld skewers the pretensions and preoccupations of women for whom "parent" is both verb and competitive sport...Ms. Rosenfeld is an astute anthropologist whose satire reaches fresh levels of absurdity."—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times
  • "Lucinda Rosenfeld's deliciously smart and original new novel, CLASS, had me riveted from page one. Karen Kipple's ethical dilemmas will be familiar to any urbanite with a conscience. Rosenfeld has pulled off something rare-she has shown it's possible to write a fun and juicy-yet also sincere-book about liberal guilt and social hypocrisy."Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
  • "I haven't liked being in a conflicted, bizarre, earnest, and tormented character's head this much since the time I spent with Patty Berglund in Jonathan Franzen's Freedom... CLASS is so good!!!"Wednesday Martin, author of Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir
  • "With CLASS, Lucinda Rosenfeld has written a spot-on satire of the 'new' Brooklynites as they hit the parenting phase. Her Karen Kipple is a modern-day mom driven slightly mad by the conflict between her ideals and the reality subverting them. Over anxious and underappreciated, she still strives to do the right thing, and, like most of us, doesn't always succeed. Like its protagonist, this is a smart book that also knows how to have a little fun."—Eddie Joyce, author of Small Mercies
  • "Rosenfeld's writing showcases the keen eye of a cultural anthropologist steeped in the rituals of the urban upper-middle class. With an acerbic wit and insight...she deftly punctures the hypocrisy that's sometimes exposed in the daunting process of trying to be true to one's professed beliefs.... A piercing take on one woman's struggle to narrow the gap between her liberal ideals and the realities of modern urban life."—Harvey Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness
  • "This satirical novel will have you thinking about your own values amidst society and its hypocrisy. If you belong to a book club, consider adding Rosenfeld's book to your roster-it will make for great discussion."—Bella NYC
  • "Every time Karen Kipple...worries about keeping her daughter in a New York City public school, I want to shake her - and look in the mirror."
    The Washington Post
  • "CLASS is a brilliant depiction of the role of race and class in America seen through the lens of its public schools. This novel is brave, funny, and persuasive, and had me wincing like crazy with recognition. Lucinda Rosenfeld hits all the right notes."—Bliss Broyard, author of One Drop: My Father's Hidden Life-A Story of Race and Family Secrets
  • "A genuinely enjoyable story about a woman who is both preposterous and recognizable and a plotline that is at once absurd and possibly happening in your own neighbourhood at this very moment."—The Globe and Mail
  • Rosenfeld's attack on upper-middle-class pieties is unerring in its aim.—New Yorker
  • "A take-no-prisoners racial romp and commentary on modern motherhood as told by a descendant of Tracy Flick."—Sloane Crosley, New York Times Book Review
  • "This take-no-prisoners satire puts politically correct urbanites in their place for real.... Grimly hilarious.... Right on, Rosenfeld."—Kirkus Reviews
  • "The story is uncomfortable and excellently handled by Rosenfeld; it invites questions about faithfulness and philanthropy, one's obligation to those less fortunate, and what it means to be middle-class in an unequal society."—Publishers Weekly
  • "Karen is a flawed and unlikable character, to be sure, but a certain sector of readers will identify with her-cringing all the while. Rosenfeld's sharp and searing look at race and class in urban America will make quite an impression on readers and will become an excellent book discussion selection. It will make readers uncomfortable, but for all the right reasons."—Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist (starred review)

On Sale
Jan 10, 2017
Page Count
352 pages

Lucinda Rosenfeld

About the Author

Lucinda Rosenfeld is the author of the novels The Pretty OneWhat She Saw…Why She Went Home, and I’m So Happy For You. Her fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Slate, the Wall Street Journal,, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.

Learn more about this author