Book Review: The Darlings

Title/Author:  The Darlings by Cristina Alger

Genre:  Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Financial Thriller

Published:  December 24th, 2012 by Penguin Books

Paperback, 338 pages

How I Got This Book:  Received from publicist

Why I Picked It Up?:  When I was emailed about receiving a copy of the new paperback, I was excited because it was the first time that a publicist had ever contacted me.  When I read the blurb about this novel, it reminded me of the Wennerstrom story in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and that kind of intrigued me enough to accept it!

Book Jacket Blurb:  ” Since he married Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to all the luxuries of Park Avenue. But a tragic event is about to catapult the Darling family into the middle of a massive financial investigation and a red-hot scandal. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties really lie.

Debut novelist Cristina Alger is a former analyst at Goldman Sachs, an attorney, and the daughter of a Wall Street financier. Drawing on her unique insider’s perspective, Alger gives us an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society—and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions.”

My Review of this Work: 

When I was first asked if I would like to receive an advanced copy of the new paperback to read and post an awareness review about The Darlings, I really didn’t know what to expect from the story.  It is a novel about a lot of businessmen and lawyers and the financial crisis of Wall Street in 2008, which may inherently sound like something that’s a little on the boring side of literature.  But I found myself captivated by the lives of this “High Society” family and their associates.

For me, reading this novel was like trying to solve a puzzle.  You dump the pieces out on the table and have no idea how they are going to connect together. The rather extensive cast of characters are similar to that.  You are constantly introduced to characters from the beginning until well past the middle of the novel, and then by the end you can see just how each of them play an integral part in the story.  At times I did feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of information dumping in a single chapter, but that is due to how many characters are involved in this financial thriller of sorts.  Each time a new character is introduced, we get a lot of background about them.  (I will admit that) sometimes I found it to be a little burdensome.  But overall, the characters in this novel are intriguing and kept me reading–I wanted to know more about them.

I have to talk about Alger’s writing style.  From a story-telling stand point, I found her to be engaging.  I was drawn in to this financial story like I am drawn in to any other adventure/fantasy story.  The story itself was written like a thriller or a mystery, which allowed me to relate more to a story that is so far out of my typical comfort zone.  While the content was heavy at times, I found the overall pace of the story to be quite quick.

This is a book that is centered on Wall Street finances and law, which I know would turn people away at first glance.  But it is just the setting of the story being told, much like any realistic fiction story revolving around a hospital or a sport.  This book is not esoteric–me with little knowledge of the Wall Street World understood everything that was going on plot wise.  I actually found it interesting to learn a little bit more about a world that I know nothing about.

Overall, I found this novel to be rather enjoyable, which is a pleasant surprise.  Would I ever pick it up and read it again?  Probably not, if I am being honest.  But that does not mean that I didn’t enjoy reading through it once.

My Bookshelf Rating:

I think that I have come to the conclusion that I cannot give this book a rating on my scale, not because I didn’t like it, but simply because I cannot give a number rating and keep it consistent with what my numbers stand for.  For a book about the aftermath of financial crisis, I actually found this book to be quite intriguing.  Ms. Alger’s emotional writing style was quite unexpected for a book of this subject; she truly knows how to make a story interesting and develop her characters. While I sometimes found myself overwhelmed by the amount of characters, I was impressed by the maturity of the writing.  It definitely made this read an easy one.  This is a book for those who are interested in the ins and outs of business and law, or just like good story/character development. 

This book comes out in paperback today, so if this sounds like a story that might intrigue a family member, it would fit nicely in a stocking 😉

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway! And earn all the extra entries you can!

Love and Red Velvet Whoopie Pies,
Jennifer

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