Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan Read Online (FREE)
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From: Isabel Chiu
Subject: la dolce vita
I’m sooooo happy you’re coming to my wedding in Capri! Do you know, apart from my family, you’re the person I’ve known the longest that will be there? I can hardly believe we’ve been friends since I was 13 and you were 7—you were the only kid I ever babysat, although I would hardly consider it babysitting since you had to endure repeated viewings of Roswell and hearing me moan nonstop about my obsessions. (Remember Nikolai? Ran into him at Erewhon the other day. He’s in LA working as a location scout for Lawrence Bender, and he’s totally unrecognizable now!)
Anyway, after getting approval from my mom’s fortune teller, we’ve chosen an auspicious day in July to celebrate our nuptials, and Capri, where Dolfi spent every summer of his youth and where his family has deep roots, will be absolutely magical at that time. It’s so special to me that you’re joining us, and of course I remember your cousin Charlotte and look forward to seeing her too. I can’t wait for all of us to be on the island together and for you to meet my friends!
My calligrapher is behind schedule because she was a bit unprepared for the sheer number of guests, but the formal invitations should be done by the end of the month. Be on the lookout for yours!
To: Lucie Tang Churchill & Guest
999 Fifth Avenue, Apt. 12B
New York, NY 10021
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Chiu
request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter
Mr. Adolfo Michelangelo De Vecchi
the son of Conte Andrea De Vecchi and Contessa Laudomia De
at the Villa Lysis, Capri, Italy
on Saturday, July 20, 2013
at five o’clock
and afterward at
875 Nimes Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077
Capri, Italy, 2013
The trail was lit by tall flickering torches, but Charlotte Barclay still felt like she could have fallen a thousand times on the pathway. She knew she had broken the cardinal rule that every seasoned magazine editor like herself always adhered to: dress sensibly, not frivolously, when traveling. Staring down at the tattered hemline of her party dress and cursing her decision to wear stilettos borrowed from Olivia Lavistock at the last minute, she felt like she had been stumbling through the woods for hours, although it had only been about fifteen minutes, and when the villa finally came into view, its Ionic columns illuminated in high relief against the dark liquid night, she breathed a sigh of relief.
Patting down her fastidious blond bob—a style that had not altered since her days at Miss Porter’s—Charlotte climbed up the uneven marble steps and entered the terrace overlooking the Bay of Naples, feeling disoriented yet again. The graceful veranda that was empty an hour ago had been transformed in the blink of an eye into yet another banquet space where a lavish midnight buffet was set up, and wedding guests lured from the ballroom were grazing like chic gazelles at the long tables laden with delectable treats.