Clever and interesting.

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jsmithy332 Avatar


All of the characters in this sound clever and interesting, which helps to make this story quite engaging. It's all very traditional, with diaries, and letters, and notebooks, and self-reflection and the recounting of one's thoughts and history.

The crux of the story is Iris Chapel and her wish to escape her multi-millionaire family and its unsavory origins. The book goes into pretty fine detail about her character, her upbringing, her experiences. It's a little odd in that Irish Chapel is a product of the mid-twentieth century. You'd think that the fortune was old-money enough and her life modern enough that the fortune's past wouldn't trouble her so, and she could move on or change her name or live a different life and not be haunted by the past.. It's all clearly based on the story of the Winchester fortune.

It's not quite a comedy of manners, but it's a literary study of manners and mores that Edith Wharton might have approved of, with wonderful attention to the surface details of a gracious, privileged existence. It's the sort of book that Huguette Clark might have written had she not lived such an empty, doll-collecting existence.