Social Creature – The Ballad of Lavina and Louise

by Francis McGovern

Just finished listening to Social Creature by Dr. Tara Isabella Burton. It was a book that’s hard to put down and if you are an English Major that has ever been in love, been drunk, written a novel (or wanted to write one) or gotten into trouble and f’d up, Then this is book is for you.

We are recommending that everyone grab a copy of Social Creature by Dr. Tara Isabella Burton or listen on Audible which is what we did. The story is about Louise and Lavina, two young women in New York City who become close friends, but become a little too close and their lives start to intertwine and they become hard to tell apart. Lousie has imagination and talent, while Lavina has beauty and money in the bank (a lot of it.) And she also has great hair.
Burton’s writing is stylish and modern and paints a vivid picture of the world of New York and it’s underground party scene for the social elite. There’s a Gatsbyesque feel to the parties that take place in a performance space / old hotel. It’s all happening in the modern era of Facebook and Instagram where we crave that social currency and dopamine rush as we document every moment of our glamorous lives. It’s full of literary references that Literary Travelers will adore.

Not everything is as glamorous as it seems and the book for me was about screwing up and the uncontrollable anxious voice in our head that worries ceaselessly that we are going to undoubtedly fail. Yet still we are holding onto that idea of wanting to be something, longing to break away from loneliness, wanting love, that deep love that doesn’t exist for many of us but eludes us even though we crave it and search for it. The two main characters have almost similar love stories until they become the same love story.  Louise and Virgil, and Lavinia and Rex, all want the perfect love that never dies. We all want to live in a world where promises are kept and no one will leave us. But that world doesn’t always exist does it?

Read Social Creature to find out.
Follow Dr. Tara Isabella Burton @notoriusdrtib #socialcreature #summerreads #lavina #lousie
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