Writing under a pseudonym, author Lucy Jackson's first novel, Posh, chronicles life an the fictional Griffin School, an elite Manhattan prep school. The story is told from multiple points of view including those of Katherine "Lazy" Hoffman, the school's headmistress, Julianne, a scholarship student, Morgan, a student who has just lost her mother to cancer, and Michael, Julianne's bipolar boyfriend.
Posh details the students' senior year which is frought with change, choice and chance. Once a successful novelist, Julianne's mother, Dee, has had to resort to driving a cab to make ends meet. Each day she attends school, Julianne is painfully aware of her place in the Griffin social strata. Morgan struggles to maintain some semblance of normalcy after maintaining a bedside vigil as she watched her mother succumb to cancer. Michael negotiates the balancing act that is being the kid who has it all and suffering from a debilitating disease; in fact, his bipolar disorder leads to grave consequences. And Lazy experiences the complications that go along with having an affair with one of the school's teachers. It is also interesting to consider the students' parents as well as the students themselves. For example, some parents are willing to do whatever it takes to provide for the children (Dee) while others are too self-absorbed to notice their child is struggling (Michael's mother, Susan).
Posh is one of a host of recent novels that scrutinizes the world of elite Manhattan private schools. It examines not only the pressure placed on the students to gain admission and then succeed but also the pressure facing their parents to help their children gain admission and then to pay the astronomical tuition. Though not as overtly sarcastic as Nancy Lieberman's Admissions, Posh still makes quite a statement about the adolescent rat race inherent in private schools. And while the novel's content and cover art are reminiscent of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, the story line is quite different.
The literary world has tried in vain to vet out the author's true identity. In fact, even Jackson's editor does not know who she really is. All that is known is that Jackson's work previously appeared in the New Yorker and Best American Short Stories.