An self made man who grew up in an English orphanage but supported by the priest who ran the place, suffers in all the right schools then leaves for America where his lack of pedigree are no longer important but the right accent is. We enter the story immediately following his death with his five sons and wife grieving and an unknown woman writes saying that her two sons are children of the dead man have a claim to part of the dead mans estate. Each chapter is told about different personalities and the family’s secrets are reveled.
Overall I enjoyed this book, the characters where almost all very waspy types and effortlessly rich. I did find the pacing fairly slow and I was quite happy to put this down and read something else for a while at times.
I never felt that I really knew or felt for any of the characters much. It was told from a totally god like third person, telling us the backgrounds and feelings of people who where dead without any explanation as to where the information came from. This slightly annoyed me. I think the constantly changing perspectives meant that we as a reader never feel that we wanted one person to triumph over the others, or even care much at all what happened. It felt a little shallow and thin overall.
I found the ending annoyed me though, it really spoiled the book for me, not because it was bad, it just wasn’t anything a bit of a damp squib. A strong start but seemed to lose it’s way in the last 20% of the book.
On goodreads I rated it a 3 but it is probably more like 2.5. I have read a lot of good books recently and this one will be forgotten very quickly. Fairly well written but overall unmemorable with characters that I could take or leave. I never really got to feel very strongly about any of them at all.
About the Author
Susan Rieger has written one other novel, the Divorce Papers. Before her literary career she had a legal career including teaching at Yale. She lives in New York City with her husband who is also and author.