Fiction · Theresa F

The Emperor’s Children | by Claire Messud

The Emperor's Children

The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
(Knopf, 2006, 431 pages)

This has been on my to read list for a while and I recently read her new novel The Woman Upstairs, which was pretty good. I think I liked The Emperor’s Children a little bit better, the characters seemed to be more fleshed out, but it didn’t have the driving plot of The Woman Upstairs. It is a glimpse into the lives of these New Yorkers which is so different than the world most of us live in. Of the three main characters only one is a born and raised New Yorker (and a wealthy one to boot) and she often has the other two friends noting the difference their Midwestern childhoods make on how the three see the world.

The Emperor’s Children is a richly drawn, brilliantly observed novel of fate and fortune—about the intersections in the lives of three friends, now on the cusp of their thirties, making their way–and not– in New York City. In this tour de force, the celebrated author Claire Messud brings to life a city, a generation, and the way we live in this moment.” –


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