Friday, January 5, 2018

Review: The Heirs by Susan Rieger

I wanted to like The Heirs more than I did. I liked what was there, but felt there should have been more to it. In particular, I wanted more to the heir characters and I wanted more emotional connection among the characters.

This is supposed to be the story of five adult sons coming to grips with the idea that their dead father may have had two sons with a long-term mistress. But the five sons never develop beyond character sketches – so much so that I kept having to remind myself of their professions to keep them separated in my mind: Harry, the law professor; Will, the Hollywood agent; Sam, the doctor; Jack, the jazz musician; and Tom, the lawyer.

The adults are much more fully developed as characters, especially the mother and the wife of the mother’s long-time admirer. These are two strong, admirable female characters who play the hands they are dealt. I was fascinated. The father and the admirer, and even the mistress, also kept my attention. Unlike the sons, these adults have stories to go with them and the stories are absorbing.

But there is not much of a connection among these characters and their stories. Yes, they are all choreographed between the covers of the book and cross paths, sometimes quite cleverly, but in the end, each character feels too self-contained. Maybe that’s what Rieger was going for, the whole idea that no one can understand one another, we are all alone in our heads. That is too trite a theme for me and it left me wanting more.


Although The Heirs disappointed me, I liked many aspects of it and I liked Susan Rieger's writing style. I plan to read her first book, The Divorce Papers.

If you reviewed The Heirs or The Divorce Papers and would like me to list your review here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.

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