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The Heirs
by Susan Rieger


Overview - "Both original and moving -- and a whole lot of fun." -- CAROLINE LEAVITT, New York Times Book Review

"A must-read." -- People

"Fans of Salinger's stories about Manhattan's elite will enjoy this novel about privileged siblings who grapple with the state of their inheritance and long-held secrets that emerge in the wake of their father's death." -- InStyle


Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him.  Read more...


 
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More About The Heirs by Susan Rieger
 
 
 
Overview
"Both original and moving -- and a whole lot of fun." -- CAROLINE LEAVITT, New York Times Book Review

"A must-read." -- People

"Fans of Salinger's stories about Manhattan's elite will enjoy this novel about privileged siblings who grapple with the state of their inheritance and long-held secrets that emerge in the wake of their father's death." -- InStyle


Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him. The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him. In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure.

Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together -- Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm -- and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor. The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty - a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor's sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all.

A riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable, patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out Edith Wharton for the 21st century.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781101904718
  • ISBN-10: 1101904712
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
  • Publish Date: May 2017
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Family Life
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Truth and inheritance

Susan Rieger’s insightful second novel, following her acclaimed 2014 debut, The Divorce Papers, succeeds as a thoroughly engaging family saga and an incisive probe into the upper crust of Manhattan society—a slice of Edith Wharton transported to the 21st century.

Rupert Falkes is the patriarch of Rieger’s wealthy and privileged clan, and as the novel opens, he is dying of cancer. His marriage to Eleanor Phipps—from one of “New York’s Four Hundred families”—was a marriage “not of convenience, exactly, more of mutual benefit,” and love seemed to be too much for either of them to expect.

The couple raised five sons in quick succession: Harry, a Columbia law professor; Will, a successful Hollywood talent agent; Sam, a researcher of infectious disease; Jack, an accomplished jazz trumpeter; and Tom, a federal prosecutor. When Rupert dies, his sizable estate goes to these five, but then a woman from Rupert’s past comes forward to claim that he fathered her two grown sons, who also should be included in his estate.

Rieger delves into the backgrounds of her main characters, moving back and forth in time, gradually revealing snippets from their pasts. Each family member reacts in his or her own way to the possibility of two additional heirs—including Eleanor, who, without knowing the validity of the claim, feels that somehow the family “should do something for them.” Not all of Eleanor’s sons agree, and there is talk of DNA tests and hints of family secrets.

Rieger’s intimate look at this intriguing family is an erudite and witty take on a social circle that most readers can only imagine.

 

This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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