Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review: The Darlings by Cristina Alger

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Released: 2012
Rating: 4/5


The Darlings are New York, high society, billionaires. When Paul Ross losses his job in 2008, during one of the biggest economic downturns since the Great Depression, he’s fortunate that his father-in-law is Carter Darling. Not wanting to lean on this father-in-law but not willing to change this lifestyle, Paul accepts Carter’s offer to head the legal team for his prosperous hedge fund. Just as Paul begins to get comfortable within the company, things take a turn for the absolute worst. Carter’s best friend and business partner Morty Reis commits suicide, and the Darlings are thrust into a financial scandal that no one could have foreseen. In hindsight, Carter learns that he was too trusting and he should have questioned Morty’s perfect numbers. Now, it may be too late, the family is in jeopardy. Paul is put into a position to either save himself or protect the family.


The Darlings is a timely book that will surely grasp your attention. Debut author, Cristina Alger does not simplify the financial world but she does a great job plotting her story, keeping readers engaged. Alger skillfully weaves the financial complexities into the novel, but is careful not to overwhelm the reader. I was surprised by how readable the novel was, I was expecting to be bogged down with financial terms and titles and I found a well written character driven novel.

Alger introduces many points of views throughout the novel, and at times it may take a moment or two to remember who is who. In the end, it comes together rather nicely. The Darlings is seen through the eyes of the wealthy investment bankers, the lawyers, the secretaries who work for them and the journalists who write about them. Despite the initial financial recession, the Darlings are relatively stress-free, as they continue to maintain their lifestyles. Charity functions are toned down a little, but they’re more about the women who organize them and not really about the charity. When the scandal hits, the Darling family is aware that regardless of their innocence, their name has made them front row-center of the action. It’s much more impressive to bring down a Darling, rather than a no-name employee.

Overall, The Darlings was much more than I anticipated. Alger clearly has an insider’s view on this world, and she delivers her story well. I highly recommend this one!


  1. This seems to be a popular theme in novels these days - but with a different spin. Adding it to my TBR list. Nice review!

  2. Glad you said the financial aspect doesn't overwhelm the story, I do not have a mind for numbers so any time a story gets too technical I find myself having trouble with it. It's always nice when a story turns out to be better than you were anticipating isn't it?

  3. I am really happy that you liked this one, because I have been looking at it and wondering if it would be something for me or not. Like Jenny, I am glad that the financial details didn't overwhelm the story, and that you had such a great experience with it. I will be looking for it!

  4. I'm so glad you liked this one. I've been anticiating your review of it and it's good toknow that it did not disappoint. The author seems to have a great grasp on the complexities and inner workings of that top financial world and the scandal that can ensure becuase of some not so honest people.

    The story sounds very well written with develped characters and a realistic plot line. I'll have to add this one to the TBR list.

  5. I want to read this one just to get a glimpse into a world I'll never know.

  6. I always love reading your reviews because they're super informative without being too informative! :) I've never really read a book that focuses on a financial aspect before, but my mom wants me to be an accountant on the side of my future writing job LOL (which doesn't sound like me, but it's actually not a bad bet!) so I think this might be a good read for me! ;)

    Really awesome review, Mrs. Q! I'll have to look into this one for sure! :)

  7. I would not have picked up this one on the synopsis alone but your review is having me rethink if I should read it.

  8. Ohh! You've definitely got my attention and I'm without a doubt curious. I've never seen this before... Great review!

  9. I've been curious about this one for a while, and the time and place definitely intrigues me. I remember reading my first "timely" book about the current recession -- aptly called The Recessionistas -- and thinking how interesting was to be living in a time in history that's already immortalized in a novel.

  10. Sounds good. I remember reading another review way back but was not that keen on it then

  11. This sounds really good. I generally like books with multiple points of view, so on top of all the scandal and whatnot, that's another plus for me.

  12. This sounds great. The multiple perspsectives does sound confusing, but it sounds like the type of book where having to work a little is worth it.

  13. I'm glad you liked this one! I thought it was well done as well, and while she didn't simplify anything, the financial stuff didn't make it difficult to read at all.

  14. The novel has a number of detours with detailed portraits of minor characters, but rather than being distracted by that, the many characters give us a chance to understand the reverberation of one man's actions.