The Real Housewives of New York City – Give Up the Ghostwriter

Please Bravo, don’t make this entire season about whether or not Carole had a ghostwriter.   We viewers barely survived Beverly Hills and the suitcase that didn’t have tabloids in it.  I’m in this until the bitter end, so don’t make me find a ghostwriter for myself.  It’s bad enough that I have to do my own editing, and at around 1AM even that starts to derail.

Carole and Aviva meet for lunch and begin by talking about who is copying whose eyeglasses.   Carole’s a bit defensive as she about her designed friend during last season, but Aviva has found something to go after that’s even closer to Carole’s heart.  Aviva is writing a memoir which she says is a lot like writing emails.  She also tells Carole that she wrote an essay for “Chicken Soup For the Soul” which Carole says was actually a letter Aviva wrote to her mother.  Carole feels that Aviva is undermining the craft she’s honed over the years – the story telling and finding one’s voice.   Aviva amps it up a little and asks her if she had a ghostwriter for “What Remains” or did she write it herself.   Carole says that she did write it herself, that’s what she does – she’s a writer.

Aviva meets Ramona at a liquor store to pick out wine for Aviva’s housewarming party and tells Ramona that she wrote “Be nice to Ramona” 100 times on her way there.  Then they start talking about the lunch conversation and Aviva tells Ramona that she was looking for guidance from Carole.  She also says that Carole shopped her novel to Aviva’s publishing house but they took a pass because it needed major overhauling and that it would take eight months to rework.  She drops the name Bill Whittle (or Whipple or Whitman) as the one who co-wrote Carol’s book.  I rummaged around and found my copy of “What Remains”.   In the acknowledgements,  Carole thanks Bill Whitworth “the ‘Nijinsky’ of editors, whose endless counsel kept me focused and sane; who introduced me to the jazz trumpet, the perfect hard-boiled egg and the power of a well-placed comma. And who made me feel like one of the ‘big boys’, if only for a moment.”  That sounds like the proper tribute to and the correct description of an editor.  Carole acknowledges dozens of other people too but I don’t think they wrote the book for her.  Asking for counsel and bouncing ideas off someone does not mean she didn’t write it.  Truman Capote relied on Harper Lee for all sorts of advice but I wouldn’t dare suggest she was his ghostwriter for “In Cold Blood.”  But every author will readily and gratefully give credit to their editors.

On the other side of town, Carole is meeting with Kristen and Heather to tell her side of the story.  She’s upset that Aviva put her in the position of having to defend her writing career.  She says that Aviva never had one and now she writes a book in a hot minute.  Okay, I get that – it seems as if almost every housewife suddenly finds they have a burning desire, never realized before, to write a book or record a song.  Aviva’s the latest and I’m sure she won’t be the last.   Kristen says that she’s going to wait and see how this all plays out.  Smart move by the new girl. Heather Thomson

Before more of this argument takes place, Kristen and her husband have Heather, her husband and their two children over to their apartment.  The two women talk about what they want for their kids, especially concerning some health issues.  We know about Heather’s son’s problems but Kristen is worried about her daughter’s inability to walk at 17 months,  She’s been fitted with braces to help her out and Heather tells her that she understands.  Heather also tells Kristen how an organ donor saved Jax’s life.   It was nice –  two mothers sharing and worrying, just like any other moms.

It’s moving day for the Dreschers and Harry stops by with Harrison.  He tells his ex-wife that he’s having a dinner date with Sonja hoping to rekindle their romance.  Aviva wants to know if they’re f** buddies.  Sonja is getting ready for her date by getting a spray tan in her bedroom.  Kristen drops by to get one, too and strips down to her panties while Sonja takes inventory of every tattoo and flawless inch of Kristen’s body.   It was a little weird.  Sonja wants to know what happened between Carole and Aviva and Kristen tells her that Carol had always said that she wrote the book at a typewriter over the course of five years.  Sonja thinks that Carole should just congratulate Aviva.

Heather and Aviva meet for mani/pedis and  so that Heather can play Inspector Clouseau.  She’s going to interrogate Aviva about her memoir and get to the bottom of this ghostwriter mystery.    The whole scene was kind of funny and Heather would never make a very good detective  – subtlety is not her forte.   She asks Aviva what her book is about, who her target audience is  and what her “hook” is.  Then she says Aviva must spend a lot of time with her ghostwriter.  Oh, Heather, you’re going to have to do better than that.  Aviva says she can write.  Heather says all she reads are biographies, especially when they’re about rock and roll, and they were all written by ghostwriters.  Stop Heather, you might as well say “Carole sent me, now ‘fess up.”   Aviva then tells her about “ghost Bill” and says that a book takes a village.  That may be Aviva, but, more often than not, only one of the villagers will be breastfeeding.

Sonja and Harry go out for dinner and the first thing Harry wants to know is what Sonja is doing later.  They haven’t even ordered drinks and he’s already planning dessert.  He tells her her boobs look perfect and Sonja, our dear, sweet, aging coquette, explains it’s all about the bra.  She tells Harry about her many projects which, beside the toaster oven and home goods, now includes plans for a line of lingerie.  Harry tells her that she should finish one –  any one, but finish it.  I’m with Harry because I can’t stand watching Sonja using a Sharpie to spruce up her scuffed Chanel bags.  They flirt back and forth and whisper some not so sweet nothings before making their way back to Sonja’s for the night – or at least for a couple of hours.

It’s time for the housewarming party and Heather and Carole are introduced to Amanda Sanders who is a stylist or lifestyle coach or Bravo-paid friend of Aviva’s.  Her exact role is a little confusing if you’ve seen her tweets.  It looks like she’s auditioning for the part of “friend of Housewife.”  Harry and Sonja show up, find themselves in the master bedroom and act as if they want to pick up where they left off the night before.  After all, Harry gave the bed to Aviva as a wedding present when they were married, so he has a lot invested in it.  Aviva interrupts their moment and is soon joined by Ramona and Mario, then Reid.  All they needed was a bowl and sets of keys and this party might have taken a very different direction.  When that group breaks up, Aviva corners Kristen and Ramona and reiterates her position on the Carole lunch conversation.  Kristen says that she 150% certain Carole wrote her book but Aviva says that Carole was condescending.   Ramona says that having your name on a book means nothing.  That’s true, if you’re in the Housewives world of writing.  Aviva delivers her “it takes a village” line again.Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill

Carol wants to have a one on one with Aviva and the two go off to talk, away from the party guests.  Carol starts by telling Aviva all of the things she’s heard from the others and wants to know where she’s going with it all.   Aviva says that Carol was condescending.  According to her, the word on the street is that “What Remains” was written by “Bill”.  Carol is getting a little shrill now and says that Aviva doesn’t know what she’s talking about.  Aviva counters with “my publishing house told me they passed on your book.”  She asks her,” Who do you think you are, John Grisham?”   Carole is now past hysteria and tells Aviva that she’s nothing and never did anything outside the home and doesn’t understand.   Aviva tells Carole that it sounds like “You’re up here and I’m down there”.  Carole wonders if maybe Kelly Bensimon is her ghostwriter and then tells Aviva there was a bidding war for her  book.  Those are some low blows from both sides of the argument.

This isn’t going to end well unless they can give each other some credit for what they do.   Carole said, “Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery.  Flattery is the sincerest form of flattery.”  So these two women should put an end to their competition.   Carole needs to understand that Aviva is a wife and mother, and anyone will tell you that’s hard enough.  Aviva’s book, no matter who wrote it, is going to go the way most Housewives’ books go – with any luck, a week or two on the New York Times bestseller list and then straight to half-price bin.  Aviva has to give Carole her due as a writer who has a talent and a gift and has been at it a lot longer than she has.  Maybe Aviva shouldn’t have attacked Carole’s memoir.  It seems even worse, considering the heartbreaking subject matter.   Last season, Carole gave her new book a baby shower, comparing the process to giving birth, and she makes it very clear that her writing is all she has.  Aviva should give her that much and just drop the stupid ghostwriter thing, once and for all.  Carole has to smooth her own defensive feathers and Aviva has to knock off the passive-aggressive digs, but I don’t think Bravo is going to let that happen.

Ladies, just one more favor.  Stay off Twitter – you look ridiculous.


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18 Responses to The Real Housewives of New York City – Give Up the Ghostwriter

  1. Fat Free Buttercream says:

    Happy Hump Day Empress ~ THANK YOU for blogging .. please never ever use a ghost writer, you’re too good! Aviva …. get a grip, gal ..she’s a wack-a-doodle … rent a house for filming? WTH? When she whispered to Harry in front of their son for all the world to hear .. are you and Ramona F buddies… put a tramp stamp on it and SHUT UP! vile vomit gross …

  2. Kaereste says:

    That was quite the episode! Poor Carole was about to have a seizure she was so infuriated! I don’t think there is anything else that someone could say to her that would make her so angry.

    Aviva really has a talent for find the soft spot.

    I saw on the preview that Carol grabs Aviva’s face! I suppose in the hopes of twisting her head off and kicking it off the balcony.

  3. After seeing the episode I am convinced that Aviva IS a big troll. She practiced what she was going to say to Carole and the way she delivered her “lines” were just to get a rise out of Carole. I don’t think that even SHE believes what she is saying…. Empress…hours….I think you give Harry too much….but all the girls love Harry. I think he is creepy. I have been “off the market” for 33 years but seriously, if some man talked to me like that on a date….I would order the lobster…!! I thought it was funny that Carole was getting so upset because I am sure that she has never been challenged about her writing and it must have just blown her mind. I didn’t think her “you are nothing” line was cool…but it didn’t offend me personally, I worked before I had my kids…..but it still was ignorant.

    • Pindy, I thought Carole’s remark to Aviva about doing nothing just exploded out of her. There was probably more to that convo and Aviva wouldn’t give an inch. Carole may regret the remark, but I don’t think she meant it quite the way we saw it.

      • She meant it to Aviva, lol. I don’t think she meant it to every single SAHM. I doubt that Carole has had to deal with a lot of conflict in her life or people questioning her integrity. She seems pretty mellow and this really pissed her off. Aviva loves chaos and like I’ve said, she is a big troll and enjoys pushing buttons. She learned it from her father, he likes to say outrageous things and push people’s buttons, so to speak, I am not going to say what I just thought, lol, George is such a bad influence!!

  4. catmom1 says:

    Empress, thank you so much for writing this. I’m down to my last HW show, and this is it.

    I actually enjoyed last night’s show. From the scene in the liquor store, they showed a bottle of “Bitch” (actual label) wine. I’ve actually had this red wine; don’t remember which varietal but it was really good.

    When Aviva was talking to IIRC Ramona and telling her how disappointed she was that Carole didn’t give her the proper respect, admiration, yada, yada for her book I had an instant flashback to last years vacation. Remember the scene where Aviva was ranting that she thought there would have been a banner congratulating and welcoming Aviva for making it. Seemed like exactly the same thing. I think Aviva is one of those people who feel entitled to adulation for every little thing they do.

    When Carole said Aviva she had never done anything (work related), I wondered if Carole meant Aviva had never worked at a real job of any kind. We know Aviva has at college degrees, but has she ever worked??? Of course being a mother is work, but Aviva didn’t go straight from college to motherhood.

    • I don’t like Aviva at all. I’ve probably said some of the same things in my older NY posts that you’ve said here. My impression is that she was coddled and pampered after her accident, probably due to some misdirected parental guilt. The scene with her “Rah Rah” banner spoke volumes about her view of herself and how she thinks others should treat her.
      I don’t know if you watch The Little Couple but Jenn and Bill could teach Aviva a lot about how to conduct your life when you’re dealt a bad hand.
      I don’t know what she’s done with her education. She never mentions having a career. Maybe Vassar and law school were just notches on her belt.

      • catmom1 says:

        I’m not a fan of A either. Like you, I used to attribute her bad behavior and treatment of others to “misdirected parental guilt”. However, after seeing her father George in action, I now believe that A would have still grown up to have the behavior of an entitled *itch, regardless of the tragic accident she suffered as a child. Looking at George, he seems to act as if he’s “special” and the rules don’t apply to him. When he went to the health food store with A, he’s shown munching on the food there….right next to the sign saying “No sampling”, then he goes on to ask the poor merchant for a discount on A’s purchases. What a clod! Then there’s the way he treats women…… I believe Aviva learned how to treat other people from her father.

        • That’s a really interesting take on George and Aviva. They both seem to be the kind of people who say what they want, take what they want and do what they want – then expect the humble masses to thank them.

      • just wondering in jersey says:

        The little couple should be must see tv for all reality stars. I admire both Bill and jenn and would really enjoy meeting them in real life. That show is my happy place.

  5. MelTheHound says:

    Well, I’m kind of crafested out.. I watched both this NY crapfest followed by the BH reunion crapfest. I don’t know what I was thinking when I did it but there it is.. Interesting or not, to be able to compare though. What is being talked about on one reunion will be the same old shit talked about on the next reunion. Just with different people.

    Empress, thank you so much for keeping everybody in the loop on these two fests. Soon avid watchers will be able to see the same comparisons on ATL vs OC..

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