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The Heirs

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  9,364 ratings  ·  776 reviews
Brilliantly wrought, incisive, and stirring, The Heirs tells the story of an upper-crust Manhattan family coming undone after the death of their patriarch. Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him. The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their ...more
Audio CD, 256 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by Books on Tape
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Susan Rieger Dominic was Will's tutor at Cambridge. He became friends with Rupert when Rupert was visiting Will. Dominic gave a eulogy for Rupert and was half in l…moreDominic was Will's tutor at Cambridge. He became friends with Rupert when Rupert was visiting Will. Dominic gave a eulogy for Rupert and was half in live with Eleanor. (Sorry for the confusion about him. ). All best,
Susan Rieger(less)
Alice Wonders The Author answers this question on Goodreads - Dominic was Will's tutor and apparently gave the eulogy at Rupert's funeral. It's not really explained…moreThe Author answers this question on Goodreads - Dominic was Will's tutor and apparently gave the eulogy at Rupert's funeral. It's not really explained why he feels so strongly.(less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,364 ratings  ·  776 reviews

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Angela M
Jun 22, 2017 marked it as abandoned-not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
I'm abandoning this after 50 pages . Feels like a soap opera and I have too many other good books waiting. In fairness, no rating or review. Also in fairness to the author, there are several high ratings. Just wasn't for me . ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witty, intelligent and sharply-drawn family drama…

I really enjoyed The Nest and thought I’d give another WASP-y dysfunctional family a try and it did not disappoint though this takes it up a notch. The writing is superb, make that SUPERB, and the tone has a sort of upper crust, clipped quality which works really well for these characters and this story.

If you’re still with me, I’m also going to tell you that the construct may not appeal to all. Each chapter is dedicated to a character, but it’s
Carol (Bookaria)
This is the wonderful story of Rupert Falkes, his family, and related friends and acquaintances. It starts with Rupert, a self-made and wealthy man in his sixties dying of cancer. Soon after his death a woman named Vera claims that Rupert had two children with her and therefore her sons are entitled to a portion of his inheritance. This is where the novel starts and what follows are their life stories which are interesting, engaging and sometimes funny.

The story is told from multiple points of
Somewhere between 2.5 to 3 stars.

The Heirs opens with the death of Rupert Faulkes and the hidden secrets of his life smearing what his family had falsely considered a tranquil home. Each of the chapters follows either a member of or a person connected to the Faulkes’ family, beginning with his wife—Eleanor. Although the chapters are dedicated to individual characters, the novel retained an omniscient, third-person narration throughout.

While I went into this fairly blindly (given that it’s not ye
Cindy Burnett
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarything
4.5 stars

I loved this book. The Heirs is beautifully written, and the story unfolds bit by bit through alternating perspectives from a number of the main characters. Rupert Falkes is the patriarch of a wealthy Manhattan family. He dies leaving his wife, Eleanor, and five grown sons. Following his death, an unknown woman makes a claim on the estate claiming she had two sons with Rupert. This new information throws the family into turmoil. As The Heirs progresses, the reader learns more about each
Stephanie Anze
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
After Rupert Falkes dies due to cancer, a woman comes forward claiming that he fathered two sons with her. His widow, Eleanor and his five grown sons are taken aback by the claim. Wavering between feeling confused and betrayed by their father, all five Falkes sons are surprised when their mother is willing to validate the claim and give them part of the inheritance left by Rupert. Having to deal with their father's supposed betrayal, their mother's nonchalant attitude and their own personal demo ...more
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just put “The Heirs” on my list of Top 10 novels for 2017. I’m sure I will read many other great books this year (at least I hope so!), but “The Heirs” was exceptional. The death of Rupert Falkes, the patriarch of a wealthy New York family, is a blow (in varying degrees) to his wife Eleanor and their adult sons Harry, Will, Jack, Sam, and Tom. The Falkes family has always seen themselves as a particulary tight-knit unit - “Team Falkes, Always Team Falkes.” The brothers label themselves “The Fi ...more
Rupert Falkes is a wealthy, (somewhat) self-made man. A British orphan, he came to America, charmed his way into Yale Law, and made a career as a successful lawyer. He also married well: the beautiful (and rich) Eleanor Phipps. Together, the pair had five sons (Harry, Will, Sam, Jack, and Tom) and a happy life. When Rupert dies of cancer, a woman comes forward, claiming to have had two sons with him as well. The revelation causes different reactions among Eleanor and all the Falkes boys (now men ...more
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
I received this as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a review:


I love a good family drama, especially one with full of money and family secrets! This was a very enjoyable read tackling identity, paternity and the meaning of family. I would say my only issue with it was the soap-opera level twists and the fact that most of the POVs mirrored each other too closely. Definitely recommend!
A more complete review is available on my blog:

When I put this book on my to-be-read list, I believed that it would be more about the claims of additional heirs. Instead, it was really more of a saga of a family and their friends. The stories of the lives of the various members of the family were interesting but I think I would have been more interested if the book centered more on the drama of the woman's claims of being the mother to Rupert's children. R
Bonnie Brody
Mar 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
The Heirs is a novel I did not like or warm up to. The writing seemed removed and strained, the characters formulaic and postured.

Shortly after Rupert Falkes dies, his wife and five sons find out that he had another family. Despite the second family losing their legal battle for a claim to Rupert's enormous wealth, his widow Eleanor decides that she wants to leave part of Rupert's estate to them. This causes dissension among Eleanor's sons.

The story is told from different perspectives and vanta
The lifestyles of the rich and dysfunctional where everyone is well educated and smart and live far above everyone else in their own stratosphere yet can't handle the events of everyday life. Despite its eruditeness (I found myself using the Kindle dictionary for the meanings of many words) and unlikable characters, I loved it.

Perfect for readers who loved Sweeney's The Nest, Wolitzer's The Interestings, and Straub's Modern Lovers.
Meredith Duran
Okay, this was just a ton of fun. An elegantly written family potboiler that kept me entirely entertained on a very long plane ride.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
"I don't think children are meant to understand their parents." Will Falkes

The Heirs by Susan Rieger kept me reading, finishing the novel in 24 hours.

Eleanor and her five adult sons must contend with more than the early loss of the family patriarch, Rupert. It appears that Rupert had a secret life, and possibly sons with another woman. As we learn about the family and their history through the various characters we realize everyone has secrets, and it is all right.

"I never told you boys to alw
Sadie VanderKodde
Jul 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yuck. Just yuck.

I was under the false impression that the publishers I've been getting free books from only printed Christian books. The premise of this one sounded interesting, the couple of reviews I read said it was riveting and un-put-down-able. So I started it without a second thought.

At first, it was just boring. I realized soon enough, thanks to the language and content that it was not a Christian book, but it wasn't terrible. I just didn't enjoy the writing style (back and forth in time
A LibraryThing win! Thank you! Well this certainly was an interesting and very unusual read for me. I had a love/ hate relationship with the premise and the characters. Rupert, the father of 5 grown children all male, dies of cancer leaving his wife and heirs with questions and secrets. Told from the perspective of family members and acquaintances the story, past and present, unfolds and the family finds themselves questioning their father's life and their own. The story is paced very slowly and ...more
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like Edith Wharton books, then you'll like The Heirs.

For all of the contemporary novels I've read about affluent New Yorkers (quite a lot!), this is the first to truly reflect their mindset and lifestyle. A standout for being right on the money.

The vivid characters, engaging plot, and cultured tone make it a great literary read.

Very special thanks to NetGalley and Crown for the advance reader copy.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this book. There's not much of a plot; it's a story about family, as we learn about various family members, lovers, and possible heirs (which are difficult to keep track of). It held my interest more than I thought it would, but the narration jumps around (both in character and time), and many gaps aren't closed. ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why, but this turned out to be such a exceptional surprise. Centered in NYC around Rupert Falkes, his wife and five sons. Rupert passes away at age 66 of cancer and the story offers differing viewpoints of not only the direct family, but extended family and friends and from both the current time period as well as flashbacks. A story of family, relationships and the complications and curves that life tends to throw at us. ...more
I enjoyed this -- the narrative voice, calm, restrained, and omniscient suited this tale of a wealthy WASPY family in New York from the '50s to early '00s -- but the architecture was sloppy. The proliferation of characters distracted from the central figures of Eleanor and Rupert Falkes who I quite enjoyed. Despite heroic efforts to label the five male offspring of this marriage as different and unique (lawyer, agent, doctor, musician, crusader), none, except perhaps middle child, Sam, ever atta ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was a struggle to finish this book. The story moved along slowly, and other books were much more enticing. The Falkes men were entitled, self-indulgent brats, and difficult to like. Actually, I didn’t manage to like them at all. Susanna was a rather sweet character, but slightly ruined by the fact that she fell for someone who would never love her how she deserved to be loved. Reading The Heirs was frustrating with difficult characters like these! It often seemed like Rieger tried to include ...more
Carol Scheherazade
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great family saga about the secrets parents have. Much better than the Nest!
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
“The Heirs” by Susan Rieger is a novel that explores marriage, family, betrayal, and memory. Eleanor and Rupert Falkes seem to have it all: wealth, good looks, five talented and respectful boys, and a strong family bond. Rupert is a self-made man possessing a drive that made him a hugely successful lawyer. Eleanor comes from moneyed lineage, educated at Vassar, beautiful, and witty. Eleanor ran the household, caring for the five boys. Rupert was the breadwinner. Each son went to Yale, as his fat ...more
Linda Zagon
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank LibraryThing and Crown for an ARE (Advanced Reading Edition) of “The Heirs” by Susan Rieger for my honest review.

The genre of this book is Women’s Fiction. The author describes the characters in the family as dysfunctional, complicated, confused and complex.

The Falkes family is an upper crust/ upper class family in New York. Eleanor, the mother comes from old money. Rupert, the father was an orphan born in England and was very lucky to get many chances to become a self-made
Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books
Sometimes, misinterpreting book blurbs can be a big mistake, leading to disappointment and frustration. Then there are the amazing times when a book sounds like one thing and turns out to be something even better. I’ve had both experiences and while the former can make you swear to never read another synopsis or blurb, the latter can be like Christmas dipped in chocolate. Last week Christmas came early with Susan Rieger’s The Heirs. I thought it would be light summer reading about when the death ...more
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
Oh goodness. I'm sorry but I can't say anything more than this was painfully dry and dreadfully boring. :-( I received this as a Netgalley ARC. ...more
Sabrina González
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The beginning of the book starts off intense, it reels you in by talking about Rupert Falkes fight with cancer and his willingness to live. You are introduced to his wife and children thinking this is the perfect family. Rupert came from nothing and became a millionaire in his own rights, his wife had a great upbringing but didn't aquire love until she met Rupert. The Falkes seem like your typical family, married with 5 boys and living the American dream until Rupert Falkes dies and the truth is ...more
Renita D'Silva
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting insight into families and the secrets prevalent within them.
Beth Bonini
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction, but I adored this novel. I'm so glad I started reading it on an uneventful Sunday, because for me, it was an unputdownable book from the very first page. Many people turn to mysteries or thrillers for a reading experience of complete absorption, but this is my kind of thing: realistic human drama brought vividly alive by an author gifted at characterisation.

Rieger's style reminded me of Laurie Colwin's, a sentimental favourite of mine, and I wouldn't
Charlotte Burt
Overall I enjoyed this book, the characters where almost all very waspy types and effortlessly rich. I did find the pacing fairly slow and I was quite happy to put this down and read something else for a while at times.

I never felt that I really knew or felt for any of the characters much. It was told from a totally god like third person, telling us the backgrounds and feelings of people who where dead without any explanation as to where the information came from. This slightly annoyed me. I th
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Susan Rieger is a graduate of Columbia University Law School. She is also a former Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at Columbia University. The Divorce Papers is her debut novel.

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