The Story: Clifford Day Vanderwall, a Wasp who attended Princeton and The Wharton School, has a trust fund, a nifty job at IBM, and a spacious apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. What’s wrong with this picture? Clifford cannot make decisions. He would rather procrastinate hoping the decision will go away by itself. At a society mixer, he meets fortune hunter Shirley Horner. They are perfectly matched: Clifford is a born victim and Shirley is a born predator. After assessing the size of Clifford’s balance sheet, Shirley traps him in a web of deceit and gradually assumes control over every aspect of Clifford’s life. After she becomes Mrs. Vanderwall, the façade drops away and Shirley's real barracuda personality comes out of the closet. Shirley quits her job and begins an affair with a rich Portuguese playboy. Most men would jump ship but not Clifford. He remains indecisive as Shirley destroys his career, his love life, and his self-esteem. Lacking the ability to make up his mind, Clifford appears to be doomed in this outrageous satire about love among New York’s upper crust.
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Ed Brodow is a bestselling author and motivational speaker. He is the author of Fixer, The Stamp, Negotiation Boot Camp, and Getting a Success Change.