Randi Reisfeld's Reviews > This Beautiful Life

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
F 50x66
's review
Sep 01, 2011

it was ok
Read in August, 2011

The cover of the NY Times Book Review? Really? Really? Okay, this'll teach me to run out and buy a book based on that kind of coverage. The review was longer than the book. Tho t'aint the length I quibble with, more the "huh? Nothing much happened" factor that irks me. The premise was intriguing and oh-so timely: upper east side (or was it west?) NYC, a family recently transplanted from Ithaca, upstate NY. Teenage boy receives a sex-video from a younger girl with a serious crush on him. Entire family is ripped apart. Brilliant money-making dad, an exec at fictional university (obviously Columbia) loses his job. Adorable adopted Chinese sister, 5 years old, somehow "sees" the video (come on!!) and reenacts it for a few kindergarten chums. The mom...she's our protag..is a really whiny "I don't fit in" type who's never had to make a living ... is shunned by the other "yummy mummies" of upper east (or west?) side. Sorry, this book, while really really well-written (you feel like the author re-worked every sentence to ultimate perfection), was not at all believable and really, could anyone empathize with this family? I will say that the teen boy around whom the plot turns was well done. But nothing happened. And the FRONT page of the NY Times? Sure I'm a bit (okay a lot) jealous, but hello? Nothing happened. Maybe it's me, but I like to be told a story.
15 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read This Beautiful Life.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

04/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Nicole I agree completely. I kept waiting for something, anything, to happen. after the first few pages, it was about 200 pages of people with whom I felt no connection and certainly no empathy.


Randi Reisfeld Whew! So glad I wasn't the only one...


Tiffany I couldn't have said this better myself!


back to top