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The Ivy Chronicles


The Ivy Chronicles

Ivy Ames finds herself in a world of hurt the same day she loses
her high-paying management job at Myoki Bank. Arriving at home
early, she discovers her unemployed husband in bed with Sassy Bird,
wife of Drayton, who had engineered her firing at the bank. Without
a husband and a job, and with two young daughters to support, Ivy
assesses her embarrassing financial position. It is dire. She
collapses into depression. How is she to continue to afford
expensive tuition to the private school her girls attend?

Subsequent chapters find Ivy waffling between possibilities but
settling on a new career. An entrepreneur, she sets up a new
business: that of helping upscale families in New York find
acceptance for their children in elite kindergarten programs at
private schools. It's a woman-eater of a job, but Ivy proves she's
up to it.

Author Karen Quinn received the inspiration for THE IVY CHRONICLES
from her own experiences as counselor for school admissions. She
has changed actual names, schools and personnel, but the scenarios
she presents are spin-offs from personal adventures. One hopes that
her clients' real personalities are less bizarre than those in the

Sustained by her true friend Faith, Ivy climbs out of her
depression to launch the business she hopes will feed her family.
Moving from an affluent apartment to a modest working-class one is
her first step --- adjustment to lower-scale living. From there,
she advertises her venture and awaits her clientele. Nothing
happens. Enormously wealthy, Faith comes to her rescue again. Her
high-society contacts boost Ivy's client pool.

Ivy's parent-client lists include such personalities as a lesbian
couple, a mobster, a maidservant, a snooty chief executive of her
own successful Wall Street company, a pretend father, and a
neurotic father who threatens to lop off her head at least once a
week. In addition, she is bribed by a grandfather who disagrees
with his son's school choice. Sassy Bird, now husbandless, manages
to reappear as a threat to Ivy's self-confidence. In all, however
bizarre the parents' oddities, their beloved urchins upstage them
in weird behavior.

Ivy is caught in a stranglehold between what is ethical and what
will bring in the cash she so desperately needs. At times, the
reader seeks to wring her neck. But one holds to the hope that Ivy
will succeed for the parents without compromising her own

Hopes for romance, riches and reward nip at her heels throughout
THE IVY CHRONICLES. A quiet applause for her success is tempered by
a wish for her moral rebirth. One would hope that cutthroat
admission policies are not the reality in today's big city elitist
social world, especially for youngsters at the tender age of

Quinn's style is raw, humorous and candid. Her characters are
exaggerations, but exemplify bits and pieces of real people who Ivy
might represent in such a narrow-focus profession. Conversation is
delightful, and is one of the highlights of THE IVY

Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on January 22, 2011

The Ivy Chronicles
by Karen Quinn

  • Publication Date: January 31, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0670033812
  • ISBN-13: 9780670033812