Brilliantly wrought, incisive, and stirring, The Heirs tells the story of an upper-crust Manhattan family coming undone after the death of their patriarch
Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him. The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him. In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure.
Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together — Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm — and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor. The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty – a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor’s sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all.
A riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable, patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out Edith Wharton for the 21st century.
If you love family drama, watching wealthy people lose their minds over money and property getting split up, and become enthralled by dysfunction just as if it’s a car wreck on the side of the road then you’re going to love this novel.
A man dies and instead of being focused on the loss this will leave in their lives, his family members are too busy dealing with secrets and treachery afoot as some strange person has shown up to lay claim to the estate. The chapters are told in alternating points of view so you get a very well-rounded idea of how these events effect the various family members which definitely added a rich layer to the plot.
In some ways this was a difficult book to read. After all you have a bunch of rich, entitled snobs that are hard to connect with when you’re the kind of person who has to create a budget every month to ensure there’s enough to pay the bills. It gets real old real fast, not to mention boring, listening to the whining and in-fighting because god-forbid these people do something more worthwhile with their lives than focus on stuff they didn’t earn except being lucky enough to outlive the guy who did.
The one saving grace is the author is a very descriptive writer who can set a stage and create complex characters so you feel like you really are a part of these people’s lives – whether that is good or not is a matter of opinion 🙂
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