June 4, 2013 at 8:36 AM ET
Returning to the characters of her celebrated debut novel, "The Devil Wears Prada," Lauren Weisberger's "Revenge Wears Prada" picks up the story of Andy Sachs and the impossibly imperious Miranda Priestly ten years later. Here's an excerpt.
The rain fell in sideways sheets, cold and relentless, the winds whipping it in every direction, making an umbrella, slicker, and rain boots nearly useless. Not that Andy had any of those things. Her two-hundred-dollar Burberry umbrella had refused to open and finally snapped when she tried to force it; the cropped rabbit jacket with the oversize collar and no hood cinched fabulously around her waist but did nothing to stop the bone-chilling cold; and the brand-new stacked suede Prada pumps cheered her with their poppy fuchsia color but left the better part of her foot exposed. Even her skinny leggings left her legs feeling naked, the wind making the leather feel as protective as a pair of silk stockings. Already the fifteen inches that had blanketed New York were beginning to melt into a slushy gray mess, and Andy wished for the thousandth time that she lived anywhere but here.
As if to punctuate her thought, a taxi barreled through a yellow light and blared its horn at Andy, who had committed the grievous crime of trying to cross the street. She restrained herself from offering him the finger—everyone was armed these days—and instead gritted her teeth and hurled mental curses his way. Considering the size of her heels, she made decent progress for the next two or three blocks. Fifty-Second, Fifty-Third, Fifty-Fourth . . . it wasn’t too far now, and at least she’d have a moment or two to warm up before beginning the race back to the office. She was consoling herself with the promise of a hot coffee and maybe, just maybe, a chocolate chip cookie, when suddenly, somewhere, she heard that ring.
Where was it coming from? Andy glanced around, but her fellow pedestrians didn’t seem to notice the sound, which was growing louder every second. Br-rrring! Br-rrring! That ringtone. She would recognize it anywhere for as long as she lived, although Andy was surprised they were still making phones with it. She simply hadn’t heard it in so long and yet . . . it all came rushing back. She knew before she pulled her phone from her bag what she would find, but she was still shocked to see those two words on her caller ID screen: MIRANDA PRIESTLY.
She would not answer. Could not. Andy took a deep breath, hit “ignore,” and tossed the phone back into her bag. It started ringing again almost immediately. Andy could feel her heart begin to beat faster, and it got more and more difficult to fill her lungs. Inhale, exhale, she instructed herself, tucking her chin to protect her face from what was now pounding sleet, and just keep walking. She was less than two blocks from the restaurant—she could see it lit up ahead like a warm, shimmering promise—when a particularly nasty gust propelled her forward, causing her to lose her balance and step directly into one of the worst parts of a Manhattan winter: the black, slushy puddle of dirt and water and salt and trash and god knows what else so filthy and freezing and shockingly deep that one could do nothing but surrender to it.
Which is exactly what Andy did, right there in the pool of hell that had accumulated between the street and the curb. She stood, flamingo-like, perched gracefully on one submerged foot, holding the other one rather impressively above the watery mess for a good thirty or forty seconds, weighing her options. Around her, people gave her and the slushy little lake wide berth, only those with knee-high rubber boots daring to tromp directly through the middle. But no one offered her a hand and, realizing that the puddle had a large enough perimeter that she couldn’t jump to escape in any one direction, she steeled herself for another shock of cold and placed her left foot beside her right. The icy water rushed up her legs and came to a stop on her lower calf, subsuming both fuchsia shoes and a good five inches of leather pant, and it was all Andy could do not to cry.
Her shoes and leggings were ruined; her feet felt like she might lose them to frostbite; she had no option for extricating herself from the mess except continuing to slog through it; and all Andy could think was, That’s exactly what you get for screening Miranda Priestly.
There wasn’t time to dwell on her misery, though, because as soon as she made it to the curb and stopped to evaluate the damage, her phone rang again. It had been ballsy—hell, downright reckless—to ignore the first call. She simply couldn’t do it again. Dripping, shivering, and near tears, Andy tapped the screen and said hello.
“Ahn-dre-ah? Is that you? You’ve already been gone for an eternity. I’ll ask you only one time. Where. Is. My. Lunch? I simply won’t be kept waiting like this.”
Of course it’s me, Andy thought. You dialed my number. Who else would be answering?
“I’m so sorry, Miranda. It’s really horrid out right now, and I’m trying my best to—”
“I’ll expect you back here immediately. That’s all.” And before Andy could say another word, the line was disconnected.
From REVENGE WEARS PRADA by Lauren Weisberger. Copyright © 2013 by Lauren Weisberger. Reprinted with permission from Simon & Schuster, Inc.