Pippa Middleton is kind of the best, right? If you don't like her for her famous booty, you like her because she's the sister who didn't get the prince, the party girl who has a good time regardless, the one who rolls her eyes at the camera whilst watching tennis matches with her proper married-lady sis. She's the Harry to Kate's William, and for that, we must love her. Further, speaking of that booty, she doesn't quite get why it got everybody so worked up. In her new book, Celebrate, she writes, "It is a bit startling to achieve global recognition before the age of 30 on account of your sister, your brother-in-law and your bottom." So she's humble, too, or at least knows how to act it! And it's not like she's perfect; there have been moments, there have been scandals. We can only imagine what it's like to come from relatively sort of normal upper-middle-class beginnings and suddenly end up the sister of the princess and in all the tabloids (O.K., we can't, because that's precisely the stuff of post-modern fairy tales). But Pippa seems pretty normal, really, despite all of that. So go, her.
But not everyone likes Pippa! Not everyone is approving of her new status as writer, a party-planning and celebrations-advice writer, to be precise. There are shades of negativity, traces of bitterness. Not everyone can just get published, willy-nilly, with a subpar book likely to sell copies across the globe regardless of its lack of merit. Not everyone gets more than half a million dollars for such a thing. The New York Post's food editor Carla Spartos seems particularly peevish about this turn of events, writing in her snarktastic review of Celebrate, which goes on sale at the end of the month, with excerpts currently in You magazine, "After electrifying the world with her magnificent Alexander McQueen-sheathed bottom, Pippa Middleton appears to be aiming for mediocrity." She then compares the younger Middleton sister to a "down-market Sandra Lee." Burn.
Pronouncing Pippa's Halloween party ideas "ho-hum" and "goofy"—ketchup for fake blood, really, how '80s!—Spartos is also unhappy with the reported (unsourced) $600,000 advance Middleton obtained from Viking for a work "most of which could be gleaned by reading an issue of Family Circle, circa 1982." Double burn.
Then there's beef with the fact that Middleton only worked two days a week at her family's party-planning business, but took time off to write her “comprehensive guide to home entertaining.” Maybe Pippa's not only not the Jonathan Franzen of food writing, Spartos seems to insinuate, but maybe she's also not even the brainiest bulb in the kitchen: "Poor Pippa. Even tasks suitable for small children require a great deal of mental effort." Triple burn!
One imagines the socialite would have a far easier time giving tips on how to construct a strapless party dress out of a roll of toilet paper — just like the one she was photographed cavorting in at a college party.
It certainly would have made for livelier prose.
Of course, whether Pippa's ideas and in fact the whole of her book is good or bad (and, for goodness sakes, it's a party-planning book, not a Pulitzer prize contender) doesn't really matter. Surely it will sell like hotcakes anyway. Whether Pippa knows how to cook them properly, well, we'd wager that the majority of readers (or page-turners in search of photos) don't really care. The book's currently #2 in Amazon's rankings in the categories of "Entertaining" and "Rich & Famous." And of course, there are rumors of more books to come.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.