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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Review - The Rich are Different - Susan Howatch

This book was different to my earlier reads of Susan Howatch which deals with the Anglican clergy and its bishops and provides a glimpse into lives which may not be
very well known to the average reader.

This book deals with a high flying American banker Paul and his fascination for Europe and all things European, his marriage and his English mistress Dinah. These are the two main characters of the book and it is their story in the main then going on to the sequences of the story after Paul's death and the ascendancy of his heir Cornelius and of the strange twist when Dinah who was Paul's mistress falls in love with a protege of Paul's and marries him.

The Rich are Different deals with love as well as hate, murder, suicides, kindness as well as revenge and revenge which is calculated and far seeking which contributes to the twist in the plot. It also proves that the rich are not different at all in that everyone feels ultimately the same - whether its love, hurt, remorse, or anger. Whether the title is meant to be what it is or whether it is meant to show as a contrary point of view that the rich are not different I do not know.

The book begins in the benign period of 1922 and ends in the turbulent 1940's covering both the stock market crash in America as well as the beginning of Hitler's supremacy in Europe and how it affected not just England but America as well and the way it also affects the people of this story.

The book was a heavy one of just over 700 pages but I did not find it burdensome. The period it covered was one which I have not read much of and I found it both descriptive and informative - the love story was intense and so naturally was the break ups! A good read for me but you have got to be patient with this book as it is the ending which makes it different.

7 comments:

DCMetroreader said...

Wow 700 pages sounds like a mega read! Glad you enjoyed it!

Amused said...

I love sagas like this that follow a large time period - sounds like a good one!

Hannah Stoneham said...

Sounds like a very good read - and covering a fascinating time period.

thanks indeed for sharing an excellent review

Hannah

bermudaonion said...

Wow, that's quite a chunkster, but boy, does it sound good!

Micki said...

Sounds like a good bok and thanks for the review!
Micki

Aarti said...

I have Wheel of Fortune by Howatch on my shelf, but haven't gotten around to reading it. She DOES write chunksters! I got Wheel of Fortune because I think it's based on the Angevins or Plantagenets and that really interests me, but not enough to pick the book up and read it, apparently!

Kay said...

Mystica, I read this book many years ago and loved it. That was in the 1980's when I read many family sagas. I loved long, long books. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it and I appreciate the reminder of this much-loved book!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!