Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.
To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.
Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!
What a great way to spend a Friday!
Today’s feature is The Heirs, by Susan Rieger, 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 of Edith Wharton for the 21st century.
Beginning: (Eleanor, He that dies pays all debts)
When he was dying, Rupert Falkes had the best care money could buy. His wife, Eleanor, saw to that. After the last round of chemo failed, she installed him in New York-Presbyterian in a large, comfortable, private room with a window facing the Hudson. She could have put him in hospice but she knew that in his rare moments of lucidity, he’d want to be in a hospital. He’d fought the prostate cancer tooth and nail, and even when it took over his bones, inflicting almost unbearable pain, he fought on. He wasn’t ready to go.
Friday 56: “I don’t think mother and daughter have much to say for themselves,” Rupert said to Eleanor as they crossed the park in a cab. He stopped, remembering his late mother-in-law. “It’s good for your father. Mrs. Cantwell is so very fond of him. The way she looks at him must give him happiness.”
Synopsis: 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.
What do you think? Do the snippets pique your curiosity?