Recommended Reading: The Darlings, Rules of Civility, and The Chaperone

The Darlings, Christina Alger

The Darlings by Cristina Alger

Overview:

“A sophisticated page-turner about a wealthy New York family embroiled in a financial scandal with cataclysmic consequences.

Now that he’s married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position.

But Paul’s luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal with enormous implications for everyone involved. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties lie-will he save himself while betraying his wife and in-laws or protect the family business at all costs?

Cristina Alger’s glittering debut novel interweaves the narratives of the Darling family, two eager SEC attorneys, and a team of journalists all racing to uncover-or cover up-the truth. With echoes of a fictional Too Big to Fail and the novels of Dominick Dunne, The Darlings offers an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society-a world seldom seen by outsiders-and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions (Barnes and Noble).”

My review: I highly recommend this book. The Darlings is a captivating thriller and I could not put it down. The author was excellent at profiling people at the very top of the one percent, the financial industry, the recession, and family loyalties. One thing that really stuck with me was the authors ability to make all of the characters feel real and relatable at some level. I found myself empathizing with certain characteristics of each character – given the nature of the book and the frauds committed, this is a really remarkable achievement! I did a bit more research and learned that the author actually grew up in Manhattan – she went to Chapin like the daughters in the book. She also studied at Harvard and NYU Law and worked as an analyst at Goldman and a corporate attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr. There are a lot of parallels to the character Merill. One part of the book that I found really poignant was the storyline about a character who lost her father on September 11th. I was amazed at how raw and realistic the character’s emotions seemed and later learned that Cristina lost her father in September 11th. I don’t want to give up more of the book, but read it!

Movies you’d like: Arbitrage, Margin Call, Wall Street, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Too Big to Fail

Now I want to read: Bond Girl by Erin Duffy and Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Rules of Civility, Amor Towles

Overview:

“The New York Times bestselling novel that ‘enchants on first reading and only improves on the second’ (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

This sophisticated and entertaining first novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve. With its sparkling depiction of New York’s social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike (Barnes and Noble).”

My Review:

This is another book that I couldn’t put down! I loved reading The Great Gatsby in middle school and this book is the most similar thing I’ve read to Gatsby. I never read books more than once but I could see myself reading this book once a year.

Movie’s you’d like: The Great Gatsby

Now I want to read: The Great Gatsby (again!)

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

The Chaperone by Laura MoriartyOverview:

“The New York Times bestseller and the USA Today #1 Hot Fiction Pick for the summer, The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922 and the summer that would change them both.

Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever (Barnes and Noble).”

My Review:

I love reading historical fiction and loved learning that this book was based on a real trip taken by a chaperone and the movie star Louise Brooks. I loved that the book spans six decades – the reader gets to witness a drastic change in societal norms. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns – read it!

Similar movies: Louise Brooks: A Biography by Barry Paris

Now I want to read: The Paris Wife by by Paula McLain

I love hearing about new books to read. What do you guys recommend I read next?

2 thoughts on “Recommended Reading: The Darlings, Rules of Civility, and The Chaperone

  1. I loved, loved, Rules of Civility – quite quotable too… “”As a quick aside, let me observe that in moments of high emotion….if the next thing you’re going to say makes you feel better, then it’s probably the wrong thing to say. This is one of the finer maxims that I’ve discovered in life. And you can have it, since it’s been of no use to me.””

    Also – looking forward to reading The Chaperone. That was on my list of books to read. Have you read The Interestings? that seems up your alley

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