A Dangerous Age

A Novel

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About The Book

Couture royalty meets downtown grit and heady artists mingle with freewheeling socialites in A Dangerous Age, a sophisticated, indulgent, and delicious novel of contemporary New York City, perfect for fans of The Real Housewives franchise and Sex and the City.

It’s the dog days of a sweltering Manhattan summer, and four sophisticated best friends who once took New York by storm are secretly falling apart at the seams. Lucy’s marriage to a renowned artist is slowly crumbling, with an explosive secret that threatens them both. Sarah, in the middle of auditioning for an auspicious new television show, realizes that her socialite standing is in jeopardy after countless disastrous events. Billy—a queen in the kitchen—has finally left her former life behind to become a highbrow cuisine artist. And Lotta, a knockout downtown art dealer, spends her free time guzzling cocktails in both the grittiest and most expensive clubs around town—but now, she’s taken it a little too far.

In this addicting and refreshing comedy of manners reminiscent of Edith Wharton, Lucy, Sarah, Billy, and Lotta go to all ends to hide their troubles in a city that worships only the young, twentysomething it-girl. But in the end, there’s no denying that these women have all entered a very dangerous age...and who knows how they’ll emerge on the other side in this dizzying novel of glitz, glamour, and soirees.

Excerpt
A Dangerous Age 1
• • • • • • • • •

Billy Sitwell’s apartment

167 Ludlow, Lower East Side

Tuesday, June 3

Girls’ night

Lu, we’re listening,” Sarah said. “Go.”

“Okay, first question: underwear. Are you boy shorts, G-string, or commando?”

We were sitting on the floor of Billy’s apartment, legs crossed Indian style like some nursery school powwow. There were sticky spots on the floor that we were all—except for Billy, because they were her spots—trying to subtly avoid, and the apartment was unbearably hot. Lotta had already raised an eyebrow at me about it more than once.

“Other,” Billy said.

I was making us take a sex quiz for a fluff piece I was writing for Cosmo. “?‘Other’ isn’t an option,” I replied.

Long-limbed Lotta with her deep-blue Nordic eyes and smoky accent gave a dramatic sigh. “How many questions are there? And are we ordering anything? I’m starved.”

Billy was already on top of it, making a charcuterie plate from the oddball things in her refrigerator and the crackers and crudités we’d brought.

“There’s just a few,” I said to Lotta, who nodded but wasn’t listening because she was texting, or on Snapchat, or commenting on her Instagram feed. “It’s nothing big.”

Life doesn’t unfold: it pops open, the way a man rips off lingerie. That’s a thing my mother, Cheri, likes to say, and she’s right. Twenty-four years ago I was seventeen, sitting in first class on a flight from Chicago to JFK. I was drinking champagne because Cheri said we deserved it. I was leaving my small Midwestern town to be a model. I had an agent, I had a contract, and I was sitting across the aisle from Titus Brockton, one of the most famous artists in the world. Picasso-like famous. I didn’t know who he was but Cheri did. He was dipping a tiny spoon into a small tin of caviar. I noticed this right off because it was the first time I’d seen anyone eat caviar. It was also the first time I’d been on a plane. The dream was right there in front of me. Love, adventure, career—I was ready for all of it.

Fast-forward to tonight at the start of a restless New York summer. I’ll be forty-two next month and I didn’t see this coming. I’m sitting in the same apartment with the same friends, having a version of the same conversation we’ve been having for twenty years. The rearview mirror looks more like a halfhearted quickie than the sultry, slow striptease I’d imagined.

The four of us get together every Tuesday—we’ve done it for years since we all found each other here, when we were young and eager and fresh. We’re not so fresh anymore. We share two divorces and two failed careers, among other things. We’re in staggered states of disarray.

Billy’s unemployed and broke. Her mortgage check just bounced, again. She’s trying to finish and sell the cocktail-entertainment book she quit her job for, which hasn’t seen one full draft that I know of, and she’s running an “adventure supper club” out of her apartment for extra cash. Strangers pay to come to her home and get drunk while she feeds them kinky foods they can tell their friends about—things like fermented eel bisque and sheep’s bladder au vin. She’s a high-end foodie hooker.

Lotta’s recreational drug use is turning into a full-time job. She’s forty-five and still closing down Marquee. Every night. It’s become more than she can manage, and we’re not sure what to do about it. It’s not a good long-term plan.

Sarah’s filthy rich with an adoring fiancé and six frozen embryos, so she seems the most solid, but now she wants to be a “socialite.” We don’t quite get it. She’s going to galas and funding philanthropies, and she’s assembled a “team” whose sole job, it seems, is to keep her on Page Six. She’s also now completely obsessed with her hair.

Me? I’m a cliché. I married young, I had so much time. I thought I’d have two kids, a doting husband, and some sort of intellectually fulfilling career by now. Instead I have a set of outdated head shots, a pile of underwhelming clips, and my marriage is falling apart. Not in the Burton-Taylor way, either, with passion and smashed plates, but quietly, without fanfare. Like it never even happened. We’ve fallen out of love or lust or something or everything, I’m not even sure. It’s the oldest story in the book.

Tonight, though, it’s the girls. We’re all here. We’re all good.

We have a system with our Tuesdays. The first one is fitness. We take a class until we get bored or exhausted by it, then move on to something else. We switched from Bikram yoga to SoulCycle last month because Lotta could not stand the heat. Before that, we did Barry’s Bootcamp, climbing subway stairs and jumping park benches. We got in fantastic shape but it nearly killed us. Sarah was sidelined with an ankle sprain for eight weeks.

Second Tuesdays are cocktails. Locations vary, but Rose Bar and the Standard are our go-tos. Third Tuesdays are always a proper dinner out, where we are seated at a table and handed menus. Until three months ago, Billy was the restaurant critic for Gastro Eat magazine, and she can get us in anywhere on no notice, which is no small feat in New York. Then on the fourth Tuesday we stay in, rotating apartments. If there are five Tuesdays in a month, we skip the fifth, and that’s how it works.

Tonight is first Tuesday. We’ve switched it around, which sometimes happens, so they can help me with my piece. So instead of a park run, we’re at Bill’s and on edge. It’s eighty-five degrees outside and she doesn’t believe in air-conditioning. Billy is always saving the environment in small and insignificant ways, and one of those is refusing to artificially cool her air. That’s how she puts it.

“It makes no sense,” Lotta reminds her each time we’re here when it’s hot. “You won’t artificially cool your air in June, but in December you artificially heat it. What’s the difference?”

If we were a TV show, all of it would look great. Cocktails, witty lines, a minor drama to resolve, and then we’d shop. We could do this forever on television.

Sarah pecked at her phone, while Billy judged the wines we’d brought. Lotta cracked a window open and fanned herself with one of the books stacked up on Billy’s chair.

“Sarah,” Billy said, “are you crazy? This is a two-hundred-dollar Bordeaux. I’m not opening it.” Sarah shrugged.

Though it was Bill’s night to host, I’d taken charge and there was a growing impatience in the room. After my modeling career, I got a journalism degree and put it to work writing hard-hitting articles for magazines with airbrushed celebrities on the cover—things like “Hair Down There Is Back!” and “Kiss Like a Kardashian!” It’s not the stuff of dreams. But Noel White had just offered me a column in his magazine, SNOB. It’s edgy and smart, and they don’t do quizzes. He gave it to me because of Titus, I knew, and I was writing on spec, so he had nothing to lose. It wasn’t the most promising start, but I was fine with that.

“You guys, focus. Come on, it’s important,” I said.

“It’s a sex quiz,” Sarah said.

“No. It’s not. It’s the experience of four friends discussing how they think about and relate to men and sexuality through the construct of an exercise that happens to be a staple of every popular contemporary women’s magazine. It’s a statement.”

I caught Sarah rolling her eyes. She should have been. The piece was titled “Are You Hot?”

“Humor me,” I said.

“We are, Lu. Chill.” This from the girl who is steadfastly anti-chill.

My modeling career was short-lived. Partly because the business throws you curves. I was far from aging out, but I also wasn’t new anymore. New is everything. One day I walked into the office to meet my agent and there was a girl at the booking table I didn’t recognize. She was wearing my sweater. The same baby-pink Azzedine Alaïa teddy bear sweater that Azzedine had given to me. The one you can’t get anywhere else, but in Paris, from his store. From him. It was like seeing lingerie that isn’t yours on the shelf your boyfriend lets you use in his apartment. Men are careless.

But mostly, it was cut short because of Titus. When we started dating, he took a strong stance on my “career,” which is how he referred to it. With quotation marks in his voice. Every man in New York wants a model, but they’re not all so crazy about being married to one. So instead of the new Chanel ad, I got a husband, a degree in journalism, and a Master of Fucking Arts (as Billy calls it) from NYU.

Somewhere in all of that, though, I misplaced an entire decade. If I were arrested tomorrow for committing aggravated assault on my thirties, I wouldn’t have an alibi. Okay, yes, Officer. I did it. None of us would.

“What’s the question again?” Billy said. She was up now, standing alone in her cramped kitchen, decanting the reds.

I repeated it. “Boy shorts, G-string, or nothing?”

Billy did a sommelier’s pour into four glasses, starting us off with a “crisp” pinot gris. She’s a wine snob, though she prefers aficionado. She makes a distinction between pinot gris and pinot grigio, she won’t let us call American bubblies “champagne,” and she tastes hints of pine and charred beet greens in what seem to me the blandest of reds. My point is that Billy is a person who won’t drink a pinot gris that isn’t “crisp,” and there better be some scent of pear.

“Nothing,” Sarah said. I gave her a wary look.

“What?” she said. “You’re giving me bad options. So, nothing.”

If I were to put these women on canvas, like Titus does, I’d start with background.

Billy, like me, is from a small town. She’s from my small town, actually: we’ve known each other since fourth grade. I graduated early to move here and she followed me out the next year. We’re like sisters. I know that phrase is overused and everyone says it. I use it purposely, though, knowing that while it sounds trite, we just are. Exactly like sisters. Billy modeled, too, briefly, but mostly for catalogues. Her auburn hair and brown eyes are a great look, but at five-eight, she was too short for the runway. Her passion, though, has always been food. She served a foie gras torchon at her twelfth birthday party. Seriously. It took her five days to prepare, and it made two of the girls cry.

Sarah is a New York private school product. Her mother divorced early, then often, and they got by on a string of Mrs. Porter’s husbands, and then afterward, their settlements. She has four stepfathers, whom she refers to by number. As in, I had dinner with Three last night. Or, Two just got engaged, again. Sarah has an uncanny knack, like her mother, for pulling money and suitable men out of the air. This socialite thing, though. It’s one of the most cutthroat vocations in New York and she’s jumping into it now? At forty? Is she crazy? We aren’t sure.

Lotta is Swedish, literally. As in, she hasn’t bothered to get her citizenship yet, even though she’s lived here for twenty years. She’s outrageously beautiful—bone-white hair that most girls in this city would kill for and Julie Christie’s pouty lips. She loves men and she loves sex. She should. She has a man’s attention span, and a man’s insatiable appetite for stimulus. She’s an art dealer, and she’s good, but she loses focus and it gets her in trouble. If she put half the amount of energy into her career as she does into getting stoned by four o’clock, she’d be on New York magazine’s list of power brokers every year.

“Billy. Come on. Boy shorts, G-string, or nothing?” I prodded.

“I’m with Sarah,” she said. “I don’t like the choices. What if I just like white cotton?”

“It’s not a thesis dissertation,” I said. “It’s a quiz. Pretend you’re killing time in a waiting room. Just pick an answer.”

“Boy shorts.”

Lotta gave me another dramatic sigh. I put her down for G-string. I took “nothing.”

So that’s background. As for palette, we’re all over the place. Billy’s the earthy one, she’s a Hopper. I’m a Rothko. (Titus would cringe to hear me say that, he hated Rothko, but I am.) Lotta, wearing a skintight black dress tonight over her six-foot-long body even though it was just us, the girls, is definitely a Klimt. Sarah is a Modigliani. She was wearing, right then, feather slippers.

Sarah had a quick divorce in her twenties, but is now engaged to Brian Banks (yes, Banks) of Goldman Sachs. He’s conventionally handsome, conventionally dressed, and has conventional money, a lot of it. He helped underwrite the Twitter IPO. He can afford to fund her new hobby.

Billy, single, dumped her last serious boyfriend at the same time she dumped her job. He was a city tour guide who mumbled. No great loss. She most recently dated Marcus, a musician she found on PlentyofFish who had four roommates in Queens. He was good in bed but not for much else, and, as Billy pointed out, it wasn’t even his bed. When he started to leave things at her apartment—first a toothbrush, then his dog—she ended it quick. “I’m not a sugar mama,” she told us. She has an online dating habit she can’t seem to break. She updates her profiles compulsively, the way some people bite their nails. It turns up odds and ends. Mostly ends.

Lotta’s divorced, too, from David—a music producer who now goes by Danielle. They never lived together but they were married for five years. He helped her get her apartment, and now she still steps in when Lotta slips on the rent. He was nice, we all liked him. He’s the only stability, I think, she’s ever had besides us.

Me? I have Titus. We’ve been married for eighteen years. And it’s complicated.

“For his birthday, what do you give him: a watch, skydiving lessons, nude selfie?”

“See?” Billy said. “These answers are limiting. Because it depends on how long you’ve been together, and then the age spread, what he does for a living, and why you’re even bothering with him at all. If he’s just a sex fix, then the selfie. If he’s older, then you get skydiving lessons to make him feel young, and a watch? He should already have a watch. The watch is too personal. Who am I to buy a man a watch?”

“I don’t even get it,” Lotta said. She was still working her phone, flipping from Tinder to Snapchat to Tinder. She obviously had later plans.

“Well, if I’m just screwing him,” Billy continued, “if I’m just with him because I’m lonely and he doesn’t knock me out but I’m fine with the sleepovers, then I’ll give him selfies. You have to be really into someone to jump out of a plane.”

Sarah cut in. “But nude selfies should be just in the beginning, or maybe the middle if you think you’re losing him. It’s tricky because you have to send them before someone else does, I think. Once someone else starts sexting him, you’re screwed. You have to preempt with selfies. There’s a strategy.”

See? This is what I wanted. Smart are you hot? repartee.

Billy refilled my glass. I stopped her halfway. The crisp pinot gris with its notes of pear was a little too sweet. It was making me dizzy.

“Luce,” she said. “You have to play, too.”

“Okay, I am. Let’s keep going. You’re talking to someone you’re interested in. Do you twirl your hair, lick your lips, or look away?”

“Look away.”

“Twirl.”

“Lick my lips.”

That was Sarah, Billy, and Lotta in that order. I was “twirl.” Which celebrity did we most want to be like out of Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, and J-Lo? Aniston. Aniston. Aniston. Even Lotta.

“Okay. Here’s a good one. What kind of girl are you? Lotta? Are you naughty and nice, dirty and perverted, or flirty?”

Lotta laughed; she almost spit out her wine.

“Dirty pervert, all the way.”

“I think I’m flirty,” Sarah said. “I’m definitely not naughty.”

“Hmm,” Billy said. “I’ll take dirty pervert, too.”

In bed, Lotta talks sexy, Sarah is playful, and Billy takes control. If we were jeans, Lotta would be skinny, Billy would be cutoffs, and I, too, would be skinny. Sarah took “boyfriend.”

We were on to the reds now, and the room was not quite as hot. I cleared my throat, took a drink of my wine.

“Okay, last one,” I announced, through a mouthful of bread. “Is love more important? Or sex?”

Lotta was up and helping herself to Billy’s liquor cabinet. A methodical clink, clink, clink of ice and a generous pour of Grey Goose. “If you love sex, and then you find great sex, bingo, you have both,” she said.

Sarah said, of course, love.

Billy smirked. “I mean . . . really? I think love would be nice if he has his shit together. Nothing against sex. Sex always comes first, though, so it’s just a nice bonus to get love. Luce?”

Lotta had downed the first drink fast and was refilling her glass.

“I don’t know,” I said. “They’re both tricky.”

“Don’t ever make us do one of these again,” Sarah said.

A man and a woman were shouting on the street. “No, fuck you!” the man yelled. We got up to watch out Billy’s window. A few seconds of angry-looking gestures and then the woman, head down, walked quickly across the street. He didn’t follow.

Sarah turned away. “What was that about, do you think? Love or sex?”

“That was definitely love,” Billy said. “Luce, pass me the wine.”
Reading Group Guide
This reading group guide for A Dangerous Age includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Kelly Killoren Bensimon. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. 
 

Introduction

It’s another sweltering summer in New York City, and four fabulous best friends who once had Manhattan at their feet are secretly falling apart at the seams. Lucy’s marriage to the notoriously temperamental artist Titus Brockton threatens to unravel due to a closely guarded secret. Sarah’s audition for a new television show wreaks havoc on her wedding plans and her social status. Billy has partly succeeded in reinventing her career as a culinary artist, but she faces bleak prospects in the world of online dating. And then there’s Lotta, a reckless habitué of the city art scene and its high-flying clubs, who seems destined for a hard fall, or a last-ditch intervention. As Lucy, Sarah, Billy, and Lotta share their trials and triumphs over the course of their weekly Tuesday gatherings, they must reckon with what it means to be fortysomething in the city that never sleeps.  
 

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. What do the weekly gatherings of Lucy, Lotta, Sarah, and Billy reveal about the unique dynamics of their friendship? How would you describe their attachments to each other? Which of the four women would you most enjoy adding to your own group of friends, and why?

2. “We’ve fallen out of love or lust or something or everything, I’m not even sure. It’s the oldest story in the book” (p. 5). Describe Lucy’s floundering relationship with her husband, Titus. How do Titus’s career and artistic temperament factor into the quality of their eighteen-year-long marriage? What role does Lucy play in Titus’s artistic success?

3. “When I first met him on that flight from Chicago, he was forty-two to my seventeen” (p. 13–14). What role does the age difference between Titus and Lucy play in the balance of power in their marriage? How does Lucy’s mom, Cheri, factor into the equation? When Lucy describes Titus in the early days of their marriage as “the Pygmalion to my Galatea,” what does she mean?  

4. How does the author’s use of the names of actual people and places, such as artists like Julian Schnabel and Cy Twombly; fashion icons like Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg; upscale restaurants like Per Se and Kappo Masa; and tony Manhattan neighborhoods help to establish the specific milieu of this novel? In what respects is the New York City setting of this novel integral to its story? Can you imagine it being set anywhere else?

5. “Full disclosure: I’m having an affair” (p. 30). Describe the relationship that develops between Lucy and her anonymous texter. What do the texts she sends and receives reveal about her openness to an extramarital relationship? To what extent does her virtual involvement with a stranger count as emotional infidelity? Who did you envision was the source of these electronic missives?

6. “Maybe she’s an old man . . . [m]aybe she’s me. Maybe we’re getting catfished” (p. 58). Discuss the “catfish” phenomenon. To what extent does Lucy’s mysterious texter succeed in “catfishing” her? In what respects do Lucy’s efforts to profile Odin for SNOB Magazine lead to her being a catfish victim? What does catfishing suggest about the complex relationship between reality and perception, truth and fiction?

7. Kelly Killoren Bensimon, the author of A Dangerous Age, appeared in the reality television series The Real Housewives of New York City. How does her intimate acquaintance with reality television inform your impressions of the fictional reality television concept, Under the Plaid Skirt, that Sarah Porter aspires to join?

8. Why are Odin’s online musings especially compelling to Lucy and her peers? In what ways does the seemingly omniscient Odin serve as a satirist of these characters and their first-world preoccupations? How does the revelation of Odin’s true identity impact Lucy?

9. “Lotta was stoned. Billy was in a funk. Sarah was planning scenes with her embryos for a show she wasn’t even on yet. I was checking my phone every minute for texts from an invisible lover” (p. 99). How would you characterize the friends’ adjustment to life in their forties? What aspects of their transition into early middle age did you find the most amusing, or tragicomic, and why?
 

Enhance Your Book Club

1. When Lucy and her friends throw a dinner for reality show producers, they wear their sexiest clothes, offer their most daring food and drink, and invite compelling guests, and they do it all to excess. Have your club plan its own unique version of a socialite dinner, tailoring it to the personalities and quirks of the members. You may want to coordinate a potluck meal that represents the wildest and most eclectic recipes, and ask members to dress up in their most over-the-top style, in keeping with the extravagant nature of the party. You might even go around the table and ask members to compare themselves with the protagonists of A Dangerous Age.

2. Despite the many glamorous aspects of their lives, in A Dangerous Age, Lucy and her friends find themselves beset by typical middle-age difficulties (waning passion for their spouses, broken relationships, financial and career instability, etc.) and by not-so-typical concerns (getting onto a reality television show, substance abuse, profiling anonymous celebrities, getting seduced by one’s hairdresser). Ask your friends to consider the major and minor challenges they have faced through each of the decades of their lives. What are the significant events from these decades that define their lives and have shaped who they are today?

3. In A Dangerous Age, Lucy finds herself falling in love with a stranger through the anonymous and instantaneous medium of texting. Discuss with your group the way that technology has enabled new sorts of illicit romantic attachments. Members of your group may want to consider the Ashley Madison hacking scandal, cyberstalking, online dating, and Internet romances in their discussion.  
 

A Conversation with Kelly Killoren Bensimon

A Dangerous Age is your first novel. How do you respond to readers who find themselves wondering if any of the protagonists in the novel reflects your personality?

This novel reflects so much of me and what I’ve been exposed to. Lucy isn’t me, but I’ve colored aspects of her personality. Like me, she’s flawed, overly loyal, and confused as to what the next part of her life will look like.

You’ve been quoted as having said that the best piece of advice ever given to you was “Have no regrets.” What challenges do you face in living out this mantra?

I’m a single mother of two teenage girls. I got divorced to have a better life for my girls. I am committed to showing them that you can be whomever you want to be as long as you work very hard and always try your best. I may not be the best, but I always try my best.

The friends in A Dangerous Age are all in their early-to-mid forties, a decade not especially beloved by women the world over. Why did you decide to populate your book with characters who are entering the middle of their lives?

New York City is populated with the most beautiful and intelligent women who are “of a certain age.” In New York, time flies, and one day, the gray hair starts coming in faster than your colorist can color it. The time clock for the world’s most incredible women ticks loudly as the new millennials are hot on their heels and their new bosses are in their early twenties. I wanted to show this new kind of woman and allow the women all over the world who are in their forties to breathe and enjoy the amazing life and friendship they have created. We are all in it together: four friends.

Titus Brockton is something of an enigma in the novel. At what point in your writing did you realize that he would have a double identity of sorts in the book?

Men in New York are complicated. They have a thirst for wealth, and women of all ages are drop-dead gorgeous and easy to catch and release. Titus has it all, but he needed to create that desire which was lost in his conquistador lifestyle.

The female friendships you examine in the novel are complex—Lucy, Lotta, Sarah, and Billy disagree with each other, conceal things from each other, and can be downright brutal in their judgments and assessments of each other. In your experience, is that what deep friendships resemble?

These women are real. After filming a reality show and watching women be blatantly rude to their “friends,” and raising two teenage girls who speak in a new tone and vernacular, I needed the women to be strong, fearless, and judgmental. The difference between these women is that no matter what happens, they are there for each other, every week. They aren’t Facebook friends; they are together solving and resolving the same questions for over twenty years. They are four friends.

None of the characters in A Dangerous Age has children, which makes their shared Manhattan existence feel more like Sex and the City than The Real Housewives of New York City. Why did you decide to keep kids out of your fictional narrative?  

While I was filming The Real Housewives of New York City, the fanbase I ran into was a strong group of single women in their forties. Having a fortysomething age for the women further reinforces that they are at a “dangerous age,” and that their clocks, like many women’s, are literally ticking.

The theme of appearances versus reality comes up again and again in the novel. What attracted you to this narrative theme?  

New York is a city built on smoke and mirrors. People can reinvent themselves seasonally. Jail time, who cares? A jailbird could be next year’s biggest entrepreneur.

The novel examines aspects of the art world that may be unfamiliar to many of your readers. Can you describe your own familiarity with the world of contemporary art?

I spent so much of my early twenties exposed to the art world. For my first book, In the Spirit of the Hamptons, I researched the advent of modern art, the illustrious Peggy Guggenheim, and her entourage of artists, including Jackson Pollock, Yves Klein, and Willem de Kooning. When I was the editor of Elle Accessories, I would leave for a “coffee” and walk around my two favorite Ms: the MoMA and Manolo Blahnik. I’ve even taken my oldest daughter to the catacombs in Italy at ten months, and my youngest daughter, Teddy, inspires me with her painting and piano. It’s what we know.

What does a perfect day look like to you?

I have a perfect day all the time when I am with my Sea and Teddy. They make me laugh so hard I could pee in my SoulCycle leggings, and they are so curious and introspective. It’s exciting to watch them navigate everyday life.

You and the protagonists of A Dangerous Age share the same decade. To what extent have you found it to be “dangerous” so far?

It’s a “dangerous age” for me because I am at a midpoint in my life, just like the four women. I am often forced to reflect upon and process the past, while still having the freedom to explore and celebrate my future. Just like every woman of any age, I find myself on a constant quest to have it all. One day I will have it all, just like Lucy.
About The Author
Photo: Matt Albiani

Kelly Killoren is a model, jewelry designer, former editor of Elle Accessories, and the author of several books, including A Dangerous Age. An avid equestrian, Killoren lives in New York City with her two teenage daughters.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (February 2017)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501136139

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Raves and Reviews

“A sophisticated take on what it means to be a contemporary woman in this day and age, this sultry, fiery novel will have you wishing you could pack your bags and move to Manhattan with your best girlfriends. Bubbly and compelling!”

– Brandi Glanville, New York Times bestselling author of Drinking and Tweeting, entrepreneur, and former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star

"[A Dangerous Age] explores a world of the New York art, fashion, and publishing world few women have access to. Kelly is an insider, Lucy Brockton is too."

– Zac Posen

“It’s wonderfully hard to figure out the real from the unreal in superstar model Kelly Bensimon’s fun and hot novel – which makes for an irresistible read.”

– Lucy Sykes, author of The Knockoff and former Fashion Director at Marie Claire magazine and Rent the Runway

"A delicious, guilty pleasure from the glorious Kelly Bensimon. I loved it."

– Elizabeth Hurley

"Kelly Killoren Bensimon is an inspiration to us free-spirited bitches of the world and this book is all kinds of MAYJ. Yes, Kelly. Yes."

– Babe Walker, New York Times bestselling author of White Girl Problems and Psychos

"Kelly is back on the scene in a major way. Iconic, sexy, and smart this super model redefines the rules of the game for all women of a dangerous age."

– John Demsey, Executive Group President of Estee Lauder

"This is the REAL Kelly—not the TV construct."

– Jill Kargman

"Kelly Killoren Bensimon invites us behind-the-seams of three industries she knows a heck of a lot about: the fashion world, art world and magazine world. Fashionistas, you are in for one fab ride!"

– Giuliana Rancic, New York Times bestselling author, and host of E! News and Fashion Police

"A Dangerous Age walks us hand in hand throughout the inner sanctum of New York social world only few have privy to. The clothes, the food, and pampering are right out of a VOGUE magazines must have...[a] fun read."

– Melissa Odabash, American swimwear designer and former fashion model

"This novel is the crown jewel of Kelly's extensive career in fashion. I am so proud to have been able to see her morph from a young fresh faced twenty something into the woman she is today. This novel is a celebration of past, present, and future set against the fabulous backdrop of New York City!”


– Calvin Klein

“Bensimon weaves together the tangled threads of their four stories to produce a conclusion that exhibits the drama and immediacy of a reality show in novel form. Fans of Sex and the City and the Real Housewives franchise will enjoy the rarefied atmosphere.”

– Booklist

"[A] sharp novel...it's Sex and the City meets The Age of Innocence."

– InTouch

"Intriguing and twisty."

– Kirkus Reviews

"This is the next beach book, especially for chick-lit fans and those who enjoy the TV show Sex and the City."

– Library Journal

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