The debut novel from Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is about a family of four siblings and their mutual legacy, that all of them must now come to terms with. It isn’t a new dimension to either of the siblings’ lives because previously the same legacy decided for the four their destiny and the lives they have as of now. Going by the name of “the Plumbs”, the family is a typical family: it has problems of its own, like any other but is dysfunctional to the point of vertical collapse.
Melody, Beatrice and Jack Plumb get together during an oddly cold winter afternoon to meet their older brother, Leo, and that’s how the family saga unfolds. This happens in New York City, and Leo has just been released from rehab. Leo is alluring and irresponsible but he has had an accident behind him that is threatening the family’s trust fund: drunk, Leo took a nineteen-year-old waitress as a passenger to his car. ‘The Nest’ is the family’s trust fund, left by all of the children’s father to help the children somewhat.
The Nest’s value keeps rising with the stock market, so the four are counting on the money to rid them of their problems: Melody, a suburban lady, has worries about college tuition for her teenage daughters; Jack has borrowed too much secret money from the beach cottage he shares with his partner, Walker, to run his own store; Bea, a short-story author, with some fame behind her seems to have writer’s block for an overdue novel. The book appeals to me for its offbeat approach to modern family values. There are a lot of tensions, bitter pasts and an increasing reliance on the family’s trust fund, which means that this is an emotional roller coaster ride for an average American family.
In Belle Isle, the most common sight are people interested in enjoying the summer sunshine. The North Carolina town often sees visitors over the weekends and this book covers the conversations between them and townspeople. Riley Griggs is a woman on Belle Isle, who is desperately waiting for her husband to arrive. He is supposed to take the ferry and be at the island in a Friday afternoon. She is with friends and family, when the devastating news reaches her that her husband cannot be located.
Riley starts to depend on her island friends during this moment in time, and each of them guard their personal secrets, in a slight overprotective manner; time is also running out for Riley as the sense of danger in the air, heightens. I liked the book for its mix of light subjects and mystery. Amidst cocktail parties, there is a a whole sense of the need to investigate Belle Isle and its secrets and Riley wanting to learn more about her new husband, which evokes how fragile relationships can be.
Me Before You
Love can sometimes pose as a tragedy – in Me Before You, Louisa Clark, is a protagonist with a banal life. She has a boyfriend, a close-knit family, and she has never been outside of her small village. Desperate for a job, Louisa begins working for Will Traynor, a wheelchair-confined, imperious man.
Will was formerly interested in sports, travel and extravagant deals, and he is bogged down by his way of life in the present. Louisa, all of a sudden, begins to feel that Will means a lot to her, so when he reveals his new ‘big plans’ to her, she sets about to show him the wondrous joys of life.
Luckiest Girl Alive
Ani FaNelli, the protagonist of Luckiest Girl Alive, had a troubled past, as a teenager at Bradley School. Her past is clouded with shocking and humiliating episodes, that spurned on the need to have a makeover. Ani now has a glamorous job, a rich collection of clothes, and a very handsome aristocratic fiancé.
But her perfect life is a total lie, and Ani holds this secret dear- her past torments her because it holds another secret and hurtful experience, which can endanger everything by making itself public. Filled with hard to catch twists aplenty, the book traces Ani’s journey, as she must grapple with the question of whether or not to be truthful or continue to hide her precious secret.