Jillian Siegel is living the quintessential Manhattan life: great clothes, fabulous boyfriend, a job at the hottest ad agency in town. But what nobody knows is that this twenty-nine-year-old has a dark little secret -- one that involves stuffing her oversize Gucci handbag with high-priced designer clothes and leaving the store without paying.
There was once a time when Jillian didn't need to shop (much less steal) to feel whole. But that was long ago -- when her beloved uncle Bingo still owned Loevner's, the elegant Upper East Side department store. When, as a little girl, she spent hours listening to the wisdom of the perfume counter ladies and modeling party dresses for her uncle's impish partner, Alain; when she danced beneath Loevner's magnificent chandelier, found solace in the secret passageways behind its grand facade, and when her mother's prolonged absences were easily forgotten with a new camel-hair coat or a fresh pair of Mary Janes.
And then one day it was all gone. The department store family, the enchanted world, the endless abundance -- pulled out from under her by her jet-setting mother, Lois; by the father she never knew; by the death of Alain, a cherished friend and confidant; and by the man with two first names who orchestrated the corporate takeover of her family's venerable sanctuary.
Now, years later, Jillian cannot seem to make things right no matter how many Chloé blouses come home in her pocketbook. Her "perfect" life is loosely held together with half milligrams of Ativan and stolen cashmere scarves. It's only a matter of time until everything crumbles.
Penned by one of advertising's most influential and provocative writers, this highly anticipated debut is packed with vibrant characters, bristling dialogue, and the rich detail of the author's real-life research into the clandestine world of shoplifting rings. The Booster is a uniquely stylish, deftly woven story about discovering one's true self in the most unexpected of places.
Jennifer Solow is a well-decorated veteran of the advertising industry and a displaced Manhattanite. A full-time writer with (finally) a very big closet, she now lives in Mill Valley, California. Visit her website at www.jennifersolow.com.