My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Im torn about this book. On one hand I like the writing – Ausubel is definitely talented. Even if I wasn’t committed to the main characters (more of that to come) I still wanted to read the whole book. Ausubel has a magical way of taking you through generations of history, and leads you easily from one plot point to another with such ease I often found myself wondering how I got from Point A to Point B is the space of a few paragraphs. I very much enjoyed the writing style.
But for the characters – oh I did not feel any love for Fern and Edgar. Poor little rich kids with the charmed life that apparently has to end abruptly. Oh no! He’ll have to stop his life as a bum and actually go to work in the family business. Oh the inhumanity of it all! Fern and Edgar are spoilt silly, saying they despise money yet living the carefree life of the super wealthy because of their parents generosity. They are so far up their hypercritical arses that they cant smell the BS anymore. UGH!
Edgar (spoilt prat) has a hissy fit because Fern (entitled manipulator) has, when faced with a life of everyday mundane struggle, has sold out her husband to his parents and said he will come and work in the steel business. So Edgar goes and lives his alternative life he thiks he is entitled to. Perhaps there is a small token of sympathy for Fern when she is confronted with her husbands selfish choices and she decides to teach Edgar a lesson and takes off on him. Cue Edgar off living his alternative life and Fern taking off on a cross country journey with a stranger and on whoopsie – the kidlets are left behind parentless. I loved Cricket, nine years of age and is more grown up that either of her parents who manages to look after her twin brothers and herself for five days before she admits to an adult what is going on back home.
I recommend this book as its a fascinating story that is well written, but don’t expect to finish the novel wishing that Fern and Edgar were your new next door neighbours. Read it because Ausubel can write a good book. Just don’t think you will gain any insights into life from this book.