Monday, May 22, 2017

(44)The Heirs by Susan Rieger


Eleanor and Rupert had a long and happy marriage on New York City's upper east side before he passed away after battling cancer. They were married for decades and raised five happy and healthy sons   Rupert, being the Englishman he was, did not show much affection to his children, but was utterly devoted to his wife and family. Despite his proper behavior, the boys loved him and adored their mother.  Eleanor grieves for her husband like any woman would and six months after his death she is contacted by a woman claiming to have had two sons by Rupert. She is suing his estate for what she feels is fair for her children.   Eleanor takes the news a lot better than her sons as all of them deal with the news that the man they thought was full of honor and integrity had cheated on his wife and family.  Each of the five sons handles the news in different ways, but ultimately it is Eleanor's decision on how to handle this news.  What will the news of his philandering ways do to the legacy of Rupert Falkes?

The Heirs was an easy book in which to get lost. I know it doesn't really seem like a page-turner, but I really couldn't put it down.   In a matter-of-fact way, the author gives us the history of Eleanor and Rupert's marriage. Starting with Rupert's final days in the hospital and working backward,  but not sticking with any chronological timeline.  I very much loved Eleanor and her subtle wit that must have made raising five sons so much easier.  We learn that Eleanor was very much in love with another man, but her parents disapproved of him because he was Jewish.  She met Rupert while at school and even though he was an orphan, his English heritage made him much more acceptable to her family.   The further you get into the book you realize that Eleanor was not Rupert's first love either.   I liked all of the sons and the author seemed to really focus on two of them, Harry and Sam.  I would have liked to get to know the others as well as we got to know them.  But Sam was my favorite, for sure, and each of them let the news of their father's philandering impact them in different ways.  The end of the book kind of snuck up on me, but the conclusion was one that made sense.

Bottom line - Even though The Heirs is one of those books that has a flashy premise and some salacious details, I don't think it is going to be a book for all to enjoy.   The Heirs is a painstaking look at one family's history and what happens when they discover their father led a secret life. While I thoroughly got swept up in the story, I don't think everybody will enjoy it like I did.  Let me know what you think!

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