Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Review: "The Privileges" by Jonathan Dee

Are the rich different? For hundreds of years now, many novels have explored this concept and never really found a conclusive answer. Jonathan Dee's The Privileges tells the story of Adam and Cynthia Morey, a "charmed couple" who meet in college, marry and raise two children in New York City. Adam achieves tremendous financial success as a partner in a hedge fund, but he is still driven to step outside legal lines and he becomes involved in an insider trading scheme. Meanwhile, Cynthia struggles between trying to play a vital role in her childrens' lives and allowing them the freedom to make their own decisions and mistakes.

I found this story extremely compelling, even if neither Cynthia or Adam were particularly consistent in their likeability. To me, the character with the most depth was the Moreys' son, Jonas, and I found his development tremendously interesting (although I'll admit, the resolution of his story confused me). I did like the fact that Jonathan Dee rarely resorted to taking the easy way out with the plot—there were a number of times when I saw the story going in one particular direction (although I hoped it wouldn't) and it surprised me. This was an enjoyable and quick read, and although I can't understand the issues of the very rich, the characters and the plot were very relatable. Good book!

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