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The Unfortunates    by Sophie McManus order for
by Sophie McManus
Order:  USA  Can
Picador, 2016 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

A wealthy heiress who is struggling with a serious disease, Cecilia Somner (CeCe) is an elderly woman facing a fight to remain alive as part of a drug trial while also coping with an adult son whose life is pretty much a failure.

As she looks back on her life, copes with her health issues, and tries to maintain control over the family's remaining wealth, CeCe's neer-do-well son squanders his money on writing an opera and focusing on his young wife and his mother's health concerns.

This is a cautionary tale about the corrupting nature of inherited wealth and how, in the final analysis, the family situation results in a violent tragedy that destroys the key characters.

For some strange reason, this novel is dubbed 'a riveting, hilarious epic story of a prominent American family on the cusp of ruin', which is a bit strange. Although this was very readable, I didn't find much real humor here and, in fact, this is not that amusing at all.

You may not feel exceedingly sorry for these characters since they aren't exceptionally likable but at the same time, their lives make for an interesting story line, while the idea of the corrupting effect of great wealth will strike a chord with many readers.

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