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A Special Place for Women
Cover of A Special Place for Women
A Special Place for Women
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As seen on Good Morning America and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

“One of the smartest, sharpest, and funniest books I’ve read in years... Some books are meant to be devoured—this one does the devouring.”—Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of People We Meet on Vacation
One of Summer 2021's Most Anticipated Novels
Good Morning America, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, theSkimm, E! Online, Oprah Daily, The New York Post, Woman's Day, Parade, Bustle, Yahoo!, The Stripe, Popsugar, Medium, Lithub, Book Riot, The Nerd Daily, and more!

It’s a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose bewitching members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business. From the author of Happy and You Know It.
For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: Membership dues cost $1,000 a month. Last time Rihanna was in town, she stopped by and got her aura read. The women even handpicked the city's first female mayor. But no one knows for sure. 
That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she's going to break into the club. With her career in freefall, Jillian needs a juicy scoop, and she has a personal interest in bringing these women down. But the deeper she gets into this new world—where billionaire "girlbosses" mingle with occult-obsessed Bohemians—the more Jillian learns that bad things happen to those who dare to question the club's motives or giggle at its outlandish rituals.  
The select group of women who populate the club may be far more powerful than she ever imagined. 
And far more dangerous too.
As seen on Good Morning America and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

“One of the smartest, sharpest, and funniest books I’ve read in years... Some books are meant to be devoured—this one does the devouring.”—Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of People We Meet on Vacation
One of Summer 2021's Most Anticipated Novels
Good Morning America, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, theSkimm, E! Online, Oprah Daily, The New York Post, Woman's Day, Parade, Bustle, Yahoo!, The Stripe, Popsugar, Medium, Lithub, Book Riot, The Nerd Daily, and more!

It’s a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose bewitching members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business. From the author of Happy and You Know It.
For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: Membership dues cost $1,000 a month. Last time Rihanna was in town, she stopped by and got her aura read. The women even handpicked the city's first female mayor. But no one knows for sure. 
That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she's going to break into the club. With her career in freefall, Jillian needs a juicy scoop, and she has a personal interest in bringing these women down. But the deeper she gets into this new world—where billionaire "girlbosses" mingle with occult-obsessed Bohemians—the more Jillian learns that bad things happen to those who dare to question the club's motives or giggle at its outlandish rituals.  
The select group of women who populate the club may be far more powerful than she ever imagined. 
And far more dangerous too.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover

    One

     

    Sometimes when you're having the shittiest of days, you need to take one more tequila shot and splash some water on your face. Then, as absurd as it seems, you've got to go to a restaurant opening.

     

    On one such shit day-the day that would end up setting everything in motion-I stood in front of a storefront lit with lanterns. In the window, my reflection wobbled, a disheveled figure in a corduroy miniskirt, dark curly hair all mussed from the windy September evening. That afternoon, I'd lost my job. The idea of hobnobbing in a crowd of loud, sparkling people made my stomach turn.

     

    But I had to go inside. This was Raf's opening. He was fancy now, profiled in Vanity Fair as the hot new celebrity chef on the scene, but he was also still the stringy boy down the block. After my parents divorced, when my mom needed a place for me to stay with free supervision until she got home from work, I'd spent multiple afternoons a week in Raf's living room. Raf had always shared his Doritos and listened to me declaim the terrible poetry I'd written when I should've been paying attention in math class.

     

    In and out, that was the plan. I threw my shoulders back and walked into the chatter, the sweet garlicky smells. Raf's parents had grown up in Cuba before immigrating to the States together, and the press loved talking about how this fast-rising chef was reinventing the food of his roots with distinctly American twists. The breads were baked in-house. The meat came from a farm upstate where the animals were treated like family, until they were slaughtered.

     

    I gave my name to a young woman at the door, and she scanned the clipboard in her hand, then waved me into the throng. There were two contingents in attendance-the older investor types, and then a smattering of New York's privileged millennial crowd, who dropped by restaurant openings as casually as I dropped by my neighborhood bodega. Waiters carried trays of mojitos, or plantains speared with toothpicks. One of them offered me a miniature deconstructed Cubano, tiny and glistening with oil, like a sandwich for a doll. I popped it in my mouth, then paused to marvel at the taste of it. It was just so full of flavor, life bursting in my throat. I grabbed a mojito and took a long sip, scanning the room for Raf.

     

    There he was, in a corner, wiry, tall, and tan, with a tattoo snaking up one arm, wearing a freaking baseball cap and T-shirt to his own opening. God, a woman could never get away with that, but if anything, it increased his appeal, judging by the gaggle of model-types jockeying for his attention. Raf was cute enough, but he wasn't the kind of guy you'd stop to look at twice on the street. Now, though, he had status, so he could go home with any woman he chose. We all wanted to feel that we were special, and if a special guy wanted to sleep with us, that seemed close enough. I rolled my eyes at the machinations of the women around him (although I'd been that way too in my early to mid twenties, hadn't I, jumping into bed with a visiting professor at my nonfiction graduate writing program and thinking that it made me unique). Then I walked toward him.

     

    "Jillian!" he said, his eyes crinkling with relief to see a familiar face. He stepped away from the others and wrapped me in a bear hug. He was a little sweaty, uneasy at being the center of attention. "Oh, thank God, someone I know how to talk to."

     

    "Hey, Raffie," I said into his chest, then held him at arm's length. "Look at you, you're such a big deal!" I leaned in and narrowed my eyes, all conspiratorial. "Tell me the truth, how much of...

About the Author-
  • Laura Hankin is the author of Happy & You Know It. She has written for publications like McSweeney's and HuffPost, while her musical comedy has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more. She splits her time between NYC, where she has performed off-Broadway, and Washington D.C., where she once fell off a treadmill twice in one day.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 19, 2021
    A journalist infiltrates a secret society in the diverting if far-fetched latest from Hankin (Happy & You Know It). Jillian Beckley tries to impress her crush, Miles, a married editor, by promising him an exposé on the secretive, influential New York City women’s social club Nevertheless, rumored to be the force behind the rise-and-fall of a recent progressive mayoral candidate. Jill ropes her friend, rising-star chef Rafael Morales, into pretending he’s her boyfriend in order to get enough cachet for an invitation to one of the club’s events, where she unexpectedly bonds with member Margot Wilding over the loss of their mothers. Meanwhile, Jill deals with her feelings for Miles, who’s having marriage woes, and Raf, who confesses his love for her. After Jill’s initiation, Margot takes Jill under her wing and reveals the truth about the club, at which point Jill questions whether the sisterhood and power of the group is worth sacrificing in order to give Miles a great article. It would break the rules of Nevertheless—and spoil the book—to dish on what’s really going on, but it’s safe to say it involves rituals that go beyond the standard fare for socialites. The narrative has a couple of nice twists, but the ending’s a bit of a stretch. Still, this should amuse anyone who keeps tabs on the tastemakers. Agent: Stefanie Lieberman, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc.

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A Special Place for Women
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Laura Hankin
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