After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the
neighbourhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her
background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at
her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into
place. She understood the other mothers' snobbiness at school
drop-off when she compared them to olive baboons. Her obsessional
quest for a Hermes Birkin handbag made sense when she realized
other females wielded them to establish dominance in their troop.
And so she analysed tribal migration patterns; display rituals;
physical adornment, mutilation, and mating practices; extra-pair
copulation; and more. Her conclusions are smart, thought-provoking,
and hilariously unexpected. Every city has its Upper East Side, and
in Wednesday's memoir, readers everywhere will recognize the
strange cultural codes of powerful social hierarchies and the
compelling desire to climb them. They will also see that Upper East
Side mothers want the same things for their children that all
mothers want-safety, happiness, and success-and not even sky-high
penthouses and chauffeured SUVs can protect this ecologically
released tribe from the universal experiences of anxiety and loss.
When Wednesday's life turns upside down, she learns how deep the
bonds of female friendship really are. Intelligent, funny, and
heartfelt, Primates of Park Avenue lifts a veil on a secret, elite
world within a world-the exotic, fascinating, and strangely
familiar culture of privileged Manhattan motherhood.