The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a story about the intertwined lives of several people, more specifically about three friends in their 30s. It is set in New York City and tells a story from March - November 2001. At a personal level I felt glad that other people exist besides myself (so what if only in Claire's imagination) who are in their 30s and are still figuring out their careers and personal lives, and are constantly re-adjusting their moral compass!

The book reminded me of others (A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth comes to mind) in that it describes vividly and in detail incidents, surroundings, and feelings in each character's life. It is very funny in parts, and definitely thought-provoking. And just when you start to wonder (even as you enjoy the story) if it is simply a gossipy tale of its characters' lives, events unfold and put the trivial (and not so trivial) human tribulations and angst in a balanced perspective. I agree with all the mighty newspapers that added The Emperor's Children to their 'notable book' list!


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