The Privileges by Jonathan Dee. Random House, 2010. (released October 5)
[Source: Random House]
Haven't we all dreamed of being wealthy and privileged at some point in our lives? Well, The Privileges is the story of what some people are willing to do to achieve that life of wealth and privilege. The novel follows the Morey family from its beginnings with the marriage of Adam and Cynthia to the beginnings of adulthood for their children, April and Jonas. The story is presented in four snapshots of the Morey family. After the wedding in section one, the other three sections center around different phases of the children's lives including elementary school, high school and college age.
I'm not typically a reader of examinations of American families, but this book had enough to keep me engaged. I was struck almost immediately by the author's straightforward, declarative prose. It was this coupled with my desire to know whether Adam's actions would catch up with him and his family that kept me reading. In the end, The Privileges had me wondering, "Was it worth it?" "Did a life of privilege make for a better life?" I made a pretty quick decision and moved on with my life.
Bottom line? If you enjoy reading about American families and their inner workings, I think you'll enjoy The Privileges. If not, check to see if any of Dee's other books sound more appealing. His writing style deserves a read.
Link of interest:
The Millions interview with Jonathan Dee