'How Perfect Is That': Sarah Bird is perfectly hysterical in this poke at Texas high society
12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, June 15, 2008
By JOY TIPPING / The Dallas Morning News
Sarah Bird gleefully pokes a gigantic, snarky hole in the Texas society bubble with her latest, How Perfect Is That, set in Austin during Dubya's first presidential term.
As How Perfect opens, not-so-sweet heroine Blythe Young is reeling from a nasty divorce from Trey Dix, scion of the privileged, proudly cliquish Pemberton Heights neighborhood.
Blythe, owner of the splendidly named, but failing, catering company Wretched Xcess, has been bankrupted into living in the carriage house of a rich friend. She's spending way too much time contemplating the "few basics I most regret either not obtaining or not hanging onto: 1) a husband, 2) a home, and 3) a Pap smear" (she can't afford it).
Ms. Bird's wickedly good grasp of social satire couldn't be finer, and Blythe eventually turns from someone readers will love to hate into someone they'll love, period.
Along the way, the author gets in precise jabs at everyone from the president ("It is as if George W. Bush himself had blessed my mission and promised that everything would turn out fine. What could possibly go wrong?") to our fair state's educational shortcomings ("I recognize Juniper's printing. Product of the Texas public school system, she never learned cursive.")
This is a perfect, curl-up-with-a-margarita splash of summer fun. But beware the sharp edges; Ms. Bird spares virtually no one in her satirical slashing, and you might just find yourself paper-cut.
How Perfect Is That