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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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1631573,133 (3.57)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

Work details

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 15 (next | show all)
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 |
This is the story of financial royalty, of insanely wealthy families made up entirely of lawyers, investors, bankers, and their quasi-philanthropic spouses. When a family friend of the Darlings commits suicide, all sorts of dirty laundry is unearthed, turning everyone's world on its head. This was a fascinating introduction to a world completely foreign to me. I found Merrill and Paul quite sympathetic, and while the ending fell flat, the rest of it was a good time. My only real complaint was how much difficulty I had keeping track of all the characters. I could have used an extra sentence or two at the beginning of each chapter to remind me how this person relates to the other people. But it was a decent piece of fiction all the same. ( )
  melydia | Jan 11, 2013 |
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This is it, he thought, as he clicked on his left blinker.
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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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