Desperate Housewives

Three things were a given in Austin’s high society in 2003: Marriages were on the rocks, pills were taken straight up, and ties to the Bush White House were the most intoxicating drug of all. An exclusive excerpt from Sarah Bird’s new novel, How Perfect Is That.
Illustration by Anita Kunz

Ah, Pemberton Heights, the creamy-white filling squirting out of Austin’s exclusive Tarry­town Twinkie.

The image calms my jittery nerves as I pilot the Kia Sedona minivan that has replaced my beloved, yet sadly repoed, Escalade toward the street where Trey and I lived not so very long ago. Though tears threaten at the thought of my lost paradise, I forbid them to fall. My future will be decided today. So although the lengthy list of things I would rather be doing than coordinating Kippie Lee’s garden party would lead off with “Anything” and finish up with “Gum surgery,” I have no choice. One, just one, healthy check could keep me alive long enough to regroup and come back to

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