roots run deep

Rupert Faulkes has built quite a life for himself. Once an orphan taken in by a priest, he survived English public school and made his way to America. He turned that into a Yale law degree, an excellent job, and a fulfilling marriage to Eleanor. She came from money but a deeply unhappy mother and was thrilled to marry a man who could be a true partner. She raised his five sons, managed his home, charmed his coworkers, and entertained his friends. It was a strong marriage, ending after Rupert's difficult battle with cancer. 

After Rupert's death, Eleanor tries to put her life back together as best she can. She cleans out his clothes and redecorates the apartment they shared, to help make it easier for her to start over. Her sons also have trouble with their grief. From oldest to youngest, they struggle to make sense of the death and to make meaning in their own lives. But the arrival of the letter leaves them all turned upside-down. 

About six months after the announcement of Rupert's death in the newspapers, Eleanor receives a letter from a woman named Vera who claims that she had a relationship with Rupert and that he fathered her two sons. Eleanor's sons want to fight the claims in every way possible, but Eleanor is less convinced. Without admitting to any formal claims, she wants to help the two boys, understanding that their mother Vera was a part of Rupert's life, whether he fathered her children or not. 

Powerful feelings of love, anger, and grief mix with the mystery of those we think we know best in this epic tale of a patrician New York family. The Heirs is an elegant and compelling story of a family tree and all its branches. With chapters from alternating points of view, the novel tells the stories of generations, of individuals, and of the most intimate of relationships. Author Susan Reiger uses her own law education as a foundation for the story, adding insight and intelligence to The Heirs. It's a fresh story with classic enduring style. The Heirs is one not to be missed. 

 

The Heirs was provided by Crown Publishing through bloggingforbooks.com.