Tuesday, February 14, 2012

(20) The Darlings by Cristina Alger


The Darlings

Publication Date: February 16, 2012
Pages 352



Over the last couple of years there have been several authors who have taken the financial crisis and the Bernie Madoff scandal and reworked the story to suit their characters.  Cristina Alger is the newest author to give the story a new spin.

The Darlings is about an elite New York socialite family led by patriarch, Carter Darling.  The story starts the day their close family friend, and Carter's partner commits suicide by jumping off a bridge. It is the day before Thanksgiving.  That single event starts the demise of the Darling family.  Caught in the cross-hairs of the right and wrong is Carter's daughter, Merrill and her lawyer husband, Paul.  At first Paul is grateful that Carter gave him a job in the family business, but when a friend from college, now a lawyer for the SEC gives him the first warning, well Paul is torn.  He is torn between the right and wrong.  Between family and friends. Between hurting and getting hurt.  Told in alternating voices from all sides of the issue we get to see what really happens when a financial powerhouse of a family falls apart.


I really enjoyed The Darlings.  The concept is very similar to Elin Hilderbrand's Silver Girl, but told with much more literary precision.  In Silver Girl we only get one side of the story, but The Darlings is so much more encompassing.  It is hard not to feel a little compassion for the Darling family (except for Carter. He is an ass, in my opinion) .  They are completely blindsided when the truth is revealed.  I am really surprised this book hasn't gotten more buzz, but I really think it is one to read.  The characters, no matter how despicable are fascinating and so very well written.  And the end provides a bit of a shock, too.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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