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The Darlings: A Novel by Cristina Alger
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The Darlings: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Cristina Alger

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1651671,708 (3.56)1
Member:nomadreader
Title:The Darlings: A Novel
Authors:Cristina Alger
Info:Pamela Dorman Books (2012), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, Read in 2012
Rating:*****
Tags:December 2012, New York City, Wall Street

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The Darlings by Cristina Alger

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  1. 00
    The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Depicting the lives of the rich and privileged, these novels explore the corruption, greed, and scandal underlying the financial scene in New York City. The Bonfire of the Vanities takes place in the 1980s, while The Darlings' setting is contemporary.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
The Darlings sees high flying family the Darlings - who also happen to be the 'darlings' of the financial industry - go from riches to... well, not exactly rags but perhaps a few less luxury holidays and world class restaurants. Paul Ross seems a decent enough guy, who didn't try to game the financial system too much - unless you count turning a blind eye to the practices of others. Still, there's a big difference between seeing and doing and Paul has managed to make a new life for himself working for his wife's father.

When a family suicide throws both the family and the company into turmoil, Paul knows he's not going to get away with see-no-evil, hear-no-evil this time around and has to make some very difficult decisions about family, loyalty and integrity.

I did enjoy The Darlings. Paul certainly seemed the most down-to-earth of the characters, slightly out of his depth in a world of wealth and schmoozing. Many of the remaining characters seemed frustrating vacuous, which I'm sure was deliberate. It certainly meant it made more of an impact when they did feel something.

My biggest issue with The Darlings was the ending. It felt laboured and drawn out. There was a twist, but I had seen it coming. That possibly added to my sense that it was just words filling space for a few of the later pages. Disappointingly, the drama and edginess built up throughout the novel, dribbled away as the hand was slightly overplayed.

That said, I would still recommend this book. Entertaining and well-paced throughout the majority of the book, Alger weaves a good story of high society fallen low and the impact a culture of greed has. Alger is certainly one to watch. ( )
  donnambr | Nov 27, 2014 |
I received an e-copy of Cristina Alger's The Darlings to read and review, courtesy of NetGalley.
Once again eager to read about high society (but New York City, this time - not the Los Angeles set I love to read about), I dove into Alger's first novel. Described in reviews as a "fast-paced thriller," I wondered what I was getting into.

Here is a family drama of a different caliber - a drama so tangled with financial backstabbing and secrets that I had trouble keeping track. Yes, I admit, I had a hard time following the plot line of The Darlings because I'm not well-versed on any big financial matters. Reading this did, however, get me on Google and researching terms and concepts, which I'd say means I was engaged by this book.

I do wish that there were fewer characters to focus on, only because I felt as if I didn't really know any one character particularly well. Even Paul and Merrill, whose storyline constitutes a major part of the book, seemed sort of one-dimensional and elusive to me.

I really loved the settings described, and the sensory details. I could really imagine myself in the beautiful summer homes and banquet halls of the elite set. Alger does a superb job of pulling the reader into the moment; I really appreciated this.
( )
  thereaderscommute | Apr 13, 2014 |
I received an e-copy of Cristina Alger's The Darlings to read and review, courtesy of NetGalley.
Once again eager to read about high society (but New York City, this time - not the Los Angeles set I love to read about), I dove into Alger's first novel. Described in reviews as a "fast-paced thriller," I wondered what I was getting into.

Here is a family drama of a different caliber - a drama so tangled with financial backstabbing and secrets that I had trouble keeping track. Yes, I admit, I had a hard time following the plot line of The Darlings because I'm not well-versed on any big financial matters. Reading this did, however, get me on Google and researching terms and concepts, which I'd say means I was engaged by this book.

I do wish that there were fewer characters to focus on, only because I felt as if I didn't really know any one character particularly well. Even Paul and Merrill, whose storyline constitutes a major part of the book, seemed sort of one-dimensional and elusive to me.

I really loved the settings described, and the sensory details. I could really imagine myself in the beautiful summer homes and banquet halls of the elite set. Alger does a superb job of pulling the reader into the moment; I really appreciated this.
( )
  thereaderscommute | Apr 13, 2014 |
I'm back, for the moment, fresh with impressions of The Darlings by Cristina Alger, a novel that is a rough equivalent of (Gossip Girl Edith Wharton - romantic drama) x Bernie Madoff Bonfire of the Vanities (Damages - murder schemes).

With the elite of the 1% and the financial tailspin of 2008 as subject matter, it would be easy to dismiss this novel as something to avoid, but you really shouldn't. It's a compelling read, driven by the interplay of characters not only from inside the upper echelons of Manhattan "royalty," but also by those lingering on the outside, less mired in glittery facades. Though I was put off by some of the characters in the beginning, many managed to grow on me. None perfect, but none completely villainous either. All human... Full review here. ( )
  zeteticat | Apr 2, 2013 |
Normally, I probably would not have picked this up, despite the lovely cover. When offered a review copy from Penguin, I figured why not, since I can be a bit narrow in my reading tastes these days (YA, YA, YA). Yet again, I am glad I did. The Darlings was a good read, even for one such as myself, who does not follow anything about the economy (more than my own bank account anyway).

The entirety of the story, with the exception of the epilogue, takes place within just one week. I love that Alger set it up this way, because it really drove home how quickly a situation can devolve to a snafu. On Monday, everything was good, and in a matter of days two companies were pretty much destroyed (or likely to be so).

Also, I want to give Alger props for managing to write sympathetic characters. I was definitely out to hate everyone in this book, because I can likely never (realistically) dream of having as much money as these guys would still have if the company bit it. I know life's not fair, but that does not mean I have to like it.

Actually, pretty much every character in here was at least a little bit likable. Certainly, by the end, there were some folks I was not a huge fan of, but I didn't hate anyone entirely (except maybe for Jane, who didn't get much screen time). I couldn't hate Carter because of how much he cared for his family, and because he apparently resembles Cary Grant. My favorite characters were definitely Paul and Merrill, who seem least messed up by the world they're living in. I would also really like to find out what happened to Marina.

The Darlings is a well-written story set in the economic landscape of post-9/11 New York City. Expect love, betrayal, and plot twists. Enjoy!
( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Book description
Paul Ross accepts a job working on the legal team for his billionaire father-in-law's hedge fund and must determine where his loyalties lie when a scandal and a regulatory investigation threaten the family business.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670023272, Hardcover)

A sophisticated page-turner about a wealthy New York family embroiled in a financial scandal with cataclysmic consequences.

Now that he's married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position.

But Paul's luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal with enormous implications for everyone involved. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties lie-will he save himself while betraying his wife and in-laws or protect the family business at all costs?

Cristina Alger's glittering debut novel interweaves the narratives of the Darling family, two eager SEC attorneys, and a team of journalists all racing to uncover-or cover up-the truth. With echoes of a fictional Too Big to Fail and the novels of Dominick Dunne, The Darlings offers an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society-a world seldom seen by outsiders-and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:59 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Paul Ross accepts a job working on the legal team for his billionaire father-in-law's hedge fund and must determine where his loyalties lie when a scandal and a regulatory investigation threaten the family business.

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