Corinne's Reviews > The Emperor's Children

The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 28, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: lance-recommend
Recommended for: everyone.
Read in July, 2007

It's a testament to Messud's writing that a book filled with characters I dislike drew me into the story so furiously. While I could recognize any one of them in a crowd, I can't say I identify with a single character. Marina, Ludo, Danielle, Murray, Julius, and especially Bootie are all people I would trip over myself to get away from in a crowded train car. Anabel and Randy, both mothers completely devoted to their families, are the only characters I wouldn't run from if they came alive off the page.

Why, then, was I so invested in their stories? The writing, so vivid and alive, reminds me of Donna Tartt's The Secret History - another book with an array of awful people doing despicable things. There's something about stories like this, driven more by characters and an event than a story arc, that make the slow unfurling of action so intimate. Towards the end of the book, I was unable to stop the anxious knot in my belly, both hoping that something awful and good would happen simultaneously to everyone involved.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Emperor's Children.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.