January 09, 2013

Book #1 of 2013: The Darlings by Christina Alger

Shortly after starting this book, I began to suspect that
 I didn't entirely read the dust cover 
to get a sense of what the story is about 
and that perhaps I went by the glamourous picture on the cover
and made the assumption that it was about a rich, high society New York family.

My assumption wasn't entirely wrong
but what I missed was that it wasn't about their society life
it was about their business life.

So, disappointment kicked in pretty quickly.
I also realized that I have minimal understanding of hedge funds
and even the economic crisis in the U.S. in 2008.

All that said -
I had other issues with the book.

I found it hard to keep the characters straight.
There are a lot of people in this story
and some of them don't get a whole lot of description or context.
The author tended to introduce people and talk about them like you should already know who they are.

Another thing - this was the second book I read on my Kobo.
Reading on an e-reader is fine but it is different.
You can't just flip back through pages to look for a reference
you have to flip through every page 
(sort of. Or know where to look for what you're looking for.)
It's different than fanning through the pages somehow.
Maybe it's just me.
(It usually is when it comes to these things. I'm particular and old fashioned at times.)
I also find that I read faster on the e-reader
but maybe that's because I realized that I've committed to reading 50 books this year and that there are 52 weeks in a year so that's basically a book a week and now I feel like I'm in a race (or a panic?)
I got through 35 in 2012 so I 15 more to cover.
Less tv. More reading!

Anyway - back to The Darlings.
Overall - I was disappointed.
I didn't feel like there was enough character development
and that made it hard to keep up with the story.
I also didn't like them all that much - not because they were rich - but because they weren't very interesting.
One of the Darling sisters, Lily, never had a fighting chance.
Her character never got to do anything or evenreally say anything 
so I didn't understand her place in the story at all.
It felt like the author got burdened by the complexity of the story (and the financial world)
 and gave up on her.

I would give it two stars.

Not a great start to my New Year reading but
I'm on to the Paris Wife next and it's gotten great reviews. 
I've also given it as a gift to two people so I'm looking forward to getting to it myself.
1 down - 49 to go!


Shannon said...

Go 50!!!!

SemiCleanSlate...In Progress said...

I look forward to reading your thought on this book. I have been thinking of picking it up but keep stopping myself...so maybe your comments will sway me.set

Jane's Next Door said...

If I were you - I'd borrow it from the library! It wasn't horrible but it just wasn't what I thought it would be. Mt recommendation would be the read Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. That was a great New York book!