The Privileges by Jonathan Dee
The writing in this novel was very good: smart, witty, revelatory. The early chapters which depict a boozy wedding weekend and a mother getting through an endless day with her young children had me excited and optimistic about the reading journey I was heading on. Even the husband’s lack of integrity when it came to making money indicated promise toward an interesting story, but the problem was that aside from the skilled writing and early chapters there wasn’t much else there – the plot was thin and the characters didn’t evolve in a meaningful way, and the track the author chose for the ending was just strange and unsatisfactory. No reason this novel couldn’t have delivered the full package, and the fact that it didn’t was a big disappointment.
About The Privileges
Smart, socially gifted, and chronically impatient, Adam and Cynthia Morey are so perfect for each other that united they become a kind of fortress against the world. In their hurry to start a new life, they marry young and have two children before Cynthia reaches the age of twenty-five. Adam is a rising star in the world of private equity and becomes his boss’s protégé. With a beautiful home in the upper-class precincts of Manhattan, gorgeous children, and plenty of money, they are, by any reasonable standard, successful.
But the Moreys’ standards are not the same as other people’s. The future in which they have always believed for themselves and their children—a life of almost boundless privilege, in which any desire can be acted upon and any ambition made real—is still out there, but it is not arriving fast enough to suit them. As Cynthia, at home with the kids day after identical day, begins to drift, Adam is confronted with a choice that will test how much he is willing to risk to ensure his family’s happiness and to recapture the sense that the only acceptable life is one of infinite possibility.
The Privileges is an odyssey of a couple touched by fortune, changed by time, and guided above all else by their epic love for each other. Lyrical, provocative, and brilliantly imagined, this is a timely meditation on wealth, family, and what it means to leave the world richer than you found it.
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