Susan Fales-Hill

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ONE FLIGHT UP

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ABOUT THE BOOK
REVIEWS
EXCERPT
MEET THE CHARACTERS
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One Flight UpEsme Sarmiento-Talbot  
Born August 15th, 1972 in Bogota, Columbia to Edoardo Sarmiento and Eugenia de Sarmiento y Almeda.   Her father is the heir to the largest construction business in South America and her mother hails from an aristocratic Spanish clan that controls many of the emerald mines in the area.   The Sarmientos came to New York when Esme was eleven and she immediately distinguished herself as the most mischievous, troublesome student in the history of the Sibley School for Girls.   Only her decent grades and her parents’ exorbitant contributions to the school’s endowment (the Sarmiento Tennis Court, the Sarmiento Science Lab, the Sarmiento Teacher’s Lounge, the Sarmiento’s Ladies Lounge) prevented her from being expelled, though she held the record for the most suspensions ever.   She then went on to Boston College where she earned a B.A. in economics and a PHD in breaking hearts.   Between the ages of 21 and 27, she was engaged five different times to everyone from the scion of an Italian leather empire to a pizza delivery boy from Queens.   At 27, she married Timothy Talbot, a Yale College and Harvard Business School graduate.   They met through mutual friends when Esme was working in private banking at JP Morgan and Tim was an associate in mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley.   They have two children, Esme, Junior aged eight and Julio, aged four.   They live in Greenwich, Connecticut, to Esme’s eternal frustration.

FAVORITE FOOD: All carbohydrates, especially pasta drenched in butter and covered in white truffles.
FAVORITE BEVERAGE: Mojitos or Kir Royals
FAVORITE DESTINATION: the beach at Punta del Este
LOST HER VIRGINITY: at nineteen, what was left of it anyway...
THE LUCKY MAN: a twenty seven year old teaching assistant in Macroeconomics.   She got an A.   So did he in her book.

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Abby Rosenfeld Adams  
Born April 21, 1972 at New York Hospital to Milton and Eleanor Rosenfeld, the uber liberal, uber cultivated owners of the “M & E Rosenfeld Gallery,” one of the first purveyors of pop art.   They enrolled Abby at Sibley at age five not because they liked the school, but in order to placate Milton’s mother who was one of the school’s first Jewish alumnae.   Abby excelled as a student, particularly in the humanities and had planned to go to graduate school in English and American Literature until she married her college love, Nathaniel Winthrop Adams.   Since Nathaniel’s career as a sculptor didn’t pay the rent, Abby dropped out of graduate school to go and work for the family business.   But not without regret…Nathaniel and Abby have three children: Benjamin, eleven, Rachel eight, and Noah, four.   Unlike her parents, Abby felt no obligation to follow tradition.   All her children attend Ethical Culture.   

FAVORITE FOOD: moules marinieres with frites in the summer in East Hampton.
FAVORITE BEVERAGE: Chateau Margaux or an ice cold Heineken straight from the bottle
FAVORITE DESTINATION: her parents’ beach house in East Hampton with Nathaniel and the children
LOST HER VIRGINITY: at sixteen
THE LUCKY MAN: her high school boyfriend, Billy Turnbull when he was home from St. Paul’s for Christmas break.  He didn’t rate an A in Abby’s book.

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Monique Dawkins-Dubois  
Born February 9, 1972 in Brooklyn to Joseph and Alvarita Dawkins, a janitor and a fry cook, respectively.   Her father died when Monique was 22 of a heart attack.  He at least lived to see her graduate with high honors from Princeton, if not from Cornell Medical School.   From a very young age, Monique’s mother placed her in gifted and talented programs, finally earning her a spot at Sibley on full scholarship when she was ten.   Monique was acutely uncomfortable among the overwhelmingly waspy and wealthy girls in the school, most of whom did very little to make her feel at home.   She was also one of the only students who had a forty-minute subway commute both ways.   Nonetheless, she graduated near the top of the class and chose to send her two daughters, Tiffany eight and Madison, seven there.   She lives in a turn of the Century brownstone in Harlem with her husband of nine years, Wayne Dubois, a Managing Director at a top Wall Street firm.   They summer in Sag Harbor.

FAVORITE FOOD: Caviar because she could never afford it when she was young
FAVORITE BEVERAGE: Cristal Champagne, Dom Perignon, in a pinch.
FAVORITE DESTINATION: the Ocean Club in the Bahamas
LOST HER VIRGINITY: at eighteen.
THE LUCKY MAN: literally the boy next door, her neighbor, Rondo Smith when they were both home for Winter break, she from Princeton, he from Dartmouth.

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India Chumley  
Born July 21, 1972 in London to Elizabeth Blakely and her then husband, Halam Chumley, both actors.   Two years later, Halam was killed in an auto accident while driving on the Moyenne Corniche in the South of France.   Elizabeth remarried three years later and relocated to New York with her husband, Richard Blythe, a noted Welsh poet who’d been offered a professorship at Columbia.   India grew up in a rambling apartment on River Side Drive  which featured magnificent views of the river, and glorious crown moldings, but very mercurial heating.   Elizabeth and Richard enrolled her at Sibley when she was five because it was reputed to be the finest school in the city.   India despised the atmosphere but adored her friends, her teachers and her studies.   She graduated second in her class of eighty students.   She went on to Harvard College and then after a year working at the Legal Aid Society, to Harvard Law School.    It was there that she met the man who broke her heart….She spent six years in Los Angeles and has recently returned to New York with her ample collection of handbags.

FAVORITE FOOD: chocolate.
FAVORITE BEVERAGE: Duckhorn Merlot
FAVORITE DESTINATION: Paris, Paris and Paris.
LOST HER VIRGINITY: at seventeen (up until then she'd never done ANYTHING.)
THE LUCKY MAN: Tristram Washington, a narcissistic bi-racial understudy in the production of "The Corn is Green" her mother was then appearing in.  On stage and off his performance was "uninspired."

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