Despite a solid story structure and great writing throughout, I found this a difficult book to wade through.
Set in 1976, the story centers around an immature couple and the marital crisis they face when forced to face financial uncertainty. Both Fern and Edgar have been born into extreme wealth and grew up wanting nothing except perhaps affection from their cold, materialistic parents. Now married with children of their own, the couple live an idyllic lifestyle – no jobs, a summer home, a boat, children in private school, etc. At the same time they show utter contempt for wealth that has cushioned all the bumps in their life. This utopia is shattered when Fern's parents die leaving nothing but bad memories. Edgar is estranged from his parents but could mend fences, take over the family steel business and solve their money problems. For Edgar this would mean giving up on the book he has spent years writing, and more importantly, selling his soul to the devil (aka...
The title of this book caught my eye and I just knew that I had to read it. I am not disappointed! The idea of the "haves" and the "have nots" has always intrigued me. This story elucidates that even more than I imagined. I must admit to some chagrin at the actions of the two leading characters. Both the husband and the wife seemed to surrender control of their destiny, not just their finances, to others without a second thought. Recognizing the husband's altruistic desire to avoid accepting his parents' financial legacy speaks to me. However, his total indifference to making his own way--which one would figure is the way to handle life when you do not accept a legacy--angered me. He did have good ideas such aw writing the book--so many years devoted to it--but he really made no effort to provide for his family or himself. He did, however not only accept his wife's legacy and enjoy it, he depended upon it. Quite a quandry! The wife was content to allow her...
The writing is beautiful, but after a while I got tired of reading about the thoughts and desires of this candy ass husband and wife. They leave their elementary age kids alone while separately going off for a week, avoiding both each other and adulthood. Of course they are rich, and the husband has the fortunate fall back option of taking over the family business when his wife's inheritance runs out. The characters are self centered and annoying. And while I know the author is trying to show them as self centered and annoying, after a while you get tired of their total self absorption. When they desert their kids for that week, I kept thinking that if this was a poor family the Department of Children and Family Services would be called once anyone suspected that the kids had been left alone.
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