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A Reader of Fictions: American Dream - Switchfoot

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, February 5, 2012

American Dream - Switchfoot

The Darlings

Author: Cristina Alger
Pages: 338
Review Copy Acquired from: Viking

Brief Summary:
The Darlings are a wealthy New York family, working on Wall Street during the economic downturn. Carter Darling is the head of the family and CEO of Delphic. Despite the economy, the company is doing pretty well. Until Carter's friend Morty Reis, who runs a company called RCM with whom Delphic invests, commits suicide. His suicide brings to light corruption in RCM, Delphic and even the SEC.

Normally, I probably would not have picked this up, despite the lovely cover. When offered a review copy from Penguin, I figured why not, since I can be a bit narrow in my reading tastes these days (YA, YA, YA). Yet again, I am glad I did. The Darlings was a good read, even for one such as myself, who does not follow anything about the economy (more than my own bank account anyway).

The entirety of the story, with the exception of the epilogue, takes place within just one week. I love that Alger set it up this way, because it really drove home how quickly a situation can devolve to a snafu. On Monday, everything was good, and in a matter of days two companies were pretty much destroyed (or likely to be so).

Also, I want to give Alger props for managing to write sympathetic characters. I was definitely out to hate everyone in this book, because I can likely never (realistically) dream of having as much money as these guys would still have if the company bit it. I know life's not fair, but that does not mean I have to like it.

Actually, pretty much every character in here was at least a little bit likable. Certainly, by the end, there were some folks I was not a huge fan of, but I didn't hate anyone entirely (except maybe for Jane, who didn't get much screen time). I couldn't hate Carter because of how much he cared for his family, and because he apparently resembles Cary Grant. My favorite characters were definitely Paul and Merrill, who seem least messed up by the world they're living in. I would also really like to find out what happened to Marina.

The Darlings is a well-written story set in the economic landscape of post-9/11 New York City. Expect love, betrayal, and plot twists. Enjoy!

Rating: 3/5

"When success is equated with excess
The ambition for excess wrecks us
As top of the mind becomes the bottom line
When success is equated with excess"

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Blogger Kali Skittles said...

Sounds interesting. I actually love the cover and by the title I was assuming incorrectly what this would be about. I'll keep my eye out for it at the library and read a few pages to see how I like it, but I'm always up for different genres because I too get on a binge of just YA. Or just fairies. And so a genre I don't typically read but is well-written and engaging is always a welcome change of pace.

April 3, 2012 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I so know what you mean. I try to read a fair amount of adult books too, but it's pretty evident that YA dominates, especially when I do my monthly wrap up posts.

April 3, 2012 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is a book I definitely want to read. I love the NYC setting and the characters sound great. The premise is interesting and I like that thing deteriorate so quickly one things begin to fall apart,,,it's interesting and realistic.

I'm glad you took a chance on this book and it worked out!
I really enjoyed your review!

May 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Angela - Bookaunt said...

Thanks for the review. I am wanting to check this book out too.

May 3, 2012 at 11:27 AM  

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