Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Review: The Darlings by Cristina Alger
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!