The Heirs: A Novel

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Named one of NPR's Best Books of 2017

"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.
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About the author

SUSAN RIEGER is the author of the 2014 novel The Divorce Papers.  She is a graduate of Columbia Law School and has worked as a residential College Dean at Yale and as associate provost at Columbia. She lives in New York City with her husband, the writer David Denby.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Broadway Books
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Published on
May 23, 2017
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781101904725
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Sparkling and sophisticated, this sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking debut novel tells the story of a very messy, very high-profile divorce and the endearingly cynical young lawyer dragooned into handling it.
 
Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old-line New England firm, where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are trapped behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one week, with all the big partners out of town, Sophie is stuck handling the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client.
 
After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. Mia is now locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Mather Medical School, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane. Mia also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. The way she sees it, it’s her first divorce, too. For Sophie, the whole affair will spark a hard look at her own relationships—with her parents, colleagues, friends, lovers, and, most important, herself.
 
A rich, layered novel told entirely through personal correspondence, office memos, e-mails, articles, handwritten notes, and legal documents, The Divorce Papers offers a direct window into the lives of an entertaining cast of characters never shy about speaking their minds. Original and captivating, Susan Rieger’s brilliantly conceived and expertly crafted debut races along with wit, heartache, and exceptional comedic timing, as it explores the complicated family dynamic that results when marriage fails—as well as the ever-present risks and coveted rewards of that thing called love.
***NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER***

Best Books of Summer 2018 Selection by
Entertainment Weekly * Cosmopolitan * Harper's Bazaar * Redbook * Southern Living * Good Housekeeping * PureWow * PopSugar * Bustle * Entertainment Tonight * Star Magazine * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Columbus Dispatch * Tampa Bay Times * BookTrib *

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