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Publisher's Summary

In this thought-provoking listen from the author of When You Read This and Privilege—a powerful novel that captures the painful divide between the haves and have-nots and the seductive lure of the American dream, for fans of Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney and Emma Straub.

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?

©2021 Mary Adkins (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Palm Beach

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking

This was my first time listening to a book. Somehow, I felt more immersed in the story than when I read the first two chapters.
The story gives a lot to think about. Mostly, how true can you be to yourself?
The narrator reminded me of myself when I used to read to my little girls, in the way that she changed her voice according to the character. She was clear and concise.

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An enjoyable read

A nice story that keep me turning pages. Unique and interesting characters who felt real. A sneak peak into the lives of the wealthy in the US.

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Couldn’t finish it.

Leftist political views never sit well with me. If I want socialist views I’ll look for it.

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This book made me late to two meetings!

This is a fantastic story that kept me captivated the whole time and had some hilarious moments too. I enjoyed seeing Rebecca find where she will and will not compromise her values for various outcomes. If you have ever wondered what you would and would not sacrifice, listen to this book!

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I Couldn't Put it Down

What can I say about Palm Beach?

First, I want to say that I listened to the audiobook and finished it in two days. it was impossible to put down after getting past the semi-infodump of a beginning other than the fact that I had things to do that I couldn't do while listening to an audiobook. Once I passed that and Rebecca and Mickey found themselves in Florida, the story picked up with some fantastic pacing. The characters introduced from this point were interesting and The Stones were a believable wealthy couple based on my own experience with such. Mrs. Stone actually reminded me of someone I encountered often at a community outreach thrift store I worked at while in college. They were quirky and strange yet comical and somewhat typical.

I have to admit that I didn't Love Mickey or Rebecca but not in a way the affects the story. They almost felt like they were written to not be completely likable but to be relatable. Whether that friend we look at sideways sometimes or the cousin we don't truly understand. Also, their marriage was hard to resolve because they just didn't seem compatible for most of the story. At times you could gleam why their relationship worked but not always. Sometimes it just didn't make sense why they were even together but I know people have thought the same about me and my husband so we choose who we choose.

I hated how passive Mickey was. He was an actor through and through because it seemed like he was always playing a part in every scene he was in until he flipped his wig. Then he felt childish. It worked for the story, and yes this is just my opinion of a character. Both Rebecca and Mickey seemed to be idealists even if Mickey would disagree, he had ideas about how people should behave even if he was rarely bothered by the wealthy people he worked for, he had an idealized version of Rebecca in his mind based on her own idealized version of herself. When that image wavered, it was clear Mickey didn't know how to respond to that. That is understandable and relatable. So in the end, I would likely never be friends with Rebecca and Mickey but they made good characters to tell this story through, even if Rebecca disappointed me more times than not. She learned who she truly was and what she was willing to do in a pinch. Mickey learned that, too. Rebecca was another beast altogether and I just don't know how I feel about her but she told her story well. Another big point of the story besides not judging people for what they have. I couldn't say that this was a book to garner sympathy for the haves versus the have-nots but not to show that they aren't much different at the end of the day.

I felt like the ending was tied up a little too neatly for my taste but that is literally my preference and no reflection of the story or the writing. The writing quality was great as I couldn't stop listening and just resolved myself to finish it as quickly as possible. I haven't finished a book this quickly since Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. The words just flowed and the direction was clear without feeling predictable. There are funny moments that can't be overlooked either.

Overall, I really enjoyed this Palm Beach and haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time. It's a book that requires that you leave your expectations at the door and allow the words to take you where they're going.

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the good and bad of being rich

This book covered a lot of topics from environment to race to economic classes. How money can really provide wealth in so many different ways was fascinating. Also how it can make you forget what it was like not to have money . ugh I am probably not making sense but I enjoyed this books new perspective on age long topics.