High society, low morals in Tara Isabella Burton’s debut novel Social Creature

American religion reporter Tara Isabella Burton (left) tackles the world of social media and sin in Social Creature (above), where, she says, "nobody trusts anyone and everyone is terrified that if somebody sees the real you, he won't love you anymor
American religion reporter Tara Isabella Burton (above) tackles the world of social media and sin in Social Creature, where, she says, "nobody trusts anyone and everyone is terrified that if somebody sees the real you, he won't love you anymore".PHOTO: ROSE CALLAHAN

Tara Isabella Burton's debut novel Social Creaturehas been dubbed the millennial answer to 1955's The Talented Mr Ripley

When Louise - 29 and broke in New York - meets larger-than-life libertine Lavinia, she is pulled into an exclusive world of wild parties, where one thinks nothing of ripping apart a 1920s vintage dress or staying up all night to take naked selfies on a frozen lake.

It is a world that seems unreal - and Louise will soon discover just how removed from reality Lavinia is when the glamorous persona she creates for social media somehow outlives even Lavinia herself.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2018, with the headline 'High society, low morals'. Print Edition | Subscribe