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White Oaks

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Aimee Trapnell reluctantly leaves her apartment on Manhattan’s Central Park West to return to her childhood home in Georgia for her father’s ninetieth birthday. Also on hand are her two brothers, wily Marsh and ne’er-do-well Trainor. With a forty-billion-dollar inheritance at stake, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make the old man happy.

To their shock they learn
Paperback, 225 pages
Published May 30th 2019 by Black Rose Writing
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  300 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Sherry Fundin
Everything about White Oaks appeals to me, from the fabulous cover to the wonderful blurb and the southern location. I was hooked from the beginning. Written in a comic style with characters that fit the southern profile, including the family’s three siblings that want to control their father’s fortune.

White Oaks is the Trapnell family’s plantation.

White Oaks starts out with a yellow Lamborghini racing into town and a foxy woman, Aimee, holding a bottle of Southern Comfort getting out. You may d
A.J. McCarthy
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

White Oaks tells the story of a trio of siblings who have been raised in lap of luxury in the Deep South. Their, at times, hair-raising adventures take them from the sweltering heat of their hometown, to the high life in Manhattan, to the elegance of Europe, and to the ruggedness of the Northwestern States. The author has succeeded in giving us lavish descriptions of each setting, while developing characters who, on the surface, sh
Greg Seeley
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In White Oaks, Jill Hand presents a highly entertaining story of a very wealthy but seriously dysfunctional Southern family. As eccentric multi-millionaire Blanton Trapnell appears near death, his adult children each scheme and connive to grab the largest share of the potential inheritance. At the same time, they engage in a frantic search for a stolen mystical item that supposedly empowers its possessor with the ability to destroy the world. The quest takes them on an intriguing intercontinenta ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting characters, but it seemed a bit disjointed. A 90 year old man asks his children to find him somebody to strangle for his 90th birthday so he can see what it's like. The entire book could have been built off that plot line, but after dispensing with that request early on, the book takes off on another story line about a grandchild who helps an errant uncle steal a ridiculous relic from his stepfather. We eventually get back to the old man. There are humorous interactions along the way ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A big thank you to Jill for sending me a review copy of this book all the way from the U.S in return for an honest and unbiased review.

White Oaks is Jill’s debut novel which I enjoyed immensely. It’s full of surprises which I wasn’t expecting. In fact, I thought this would turn out to be a typical family mystery but it was much more. I found the plot to be very original and very interesting. I couldn’t put this book down.

White Oaks was a quick read for me, it’s quite short with only 225 pages bu
Karen Whittard
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
A dark, and funny thriller. That would be great as a movie. Starring people like Sean penn, or Simon pegg
Kasa Cotugno
Good satire, but maybe due to bad timing, this book didn't work for me. I find I need more from my fiction than this book had to offer. ...more
Jun 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book is so bad that I don't know where to start to pinpoint its many failings. First of all, none of the main characters has the minimum vestige of a moral compass. They are three "filthy rich" siblings whose only interest in life is to inherit the money from their father, although all of them have received plenty of cash from him (one of them has two five-million-dollar apartments in New York, one for herself and the other for her snakes!). Second, its racial stereotypes concerning the sou ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok

Beware, if you want to see every designer name and the word “bespoke” a gazillion times, this is your book. If on the other hand Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Emilio Zegna, Patek Philippe, and on and on and on is not your thing, don’t even bother opening this book.

One sentence and you need to know nothing else: “The Trapnell children were as suspicious and watchful of each other as Medicis.” To say that the descriptions of clothing, food and everything else was trite and cliche is being generous
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book's sometimes dark sense of humor. It made me think of the classic novel by Erskine Caldwell, Tobacco Road, as both are wry, bittersweet comedies about Southern stereotypes set in Georgia. While the Caldwell book scandalized vulgarities of white trash in the 1930s, this debut novel by Jill Hand sets out to lampoon indolent and avaricious life of the 1%, set in a home celebrating the plantation mansion with modern pool, spa, etc.

The premise: old man Blanton Trapnell, a cantankerou
Dan Kalin
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jill Hand has written a completely entertaining thriller which incorporates a sometimes comic view of family dynamics surrounding inheritance positioning within a ruling Southern family. I say "ruling" since we in the United States sometimes use extreme multi-generational wealth as a proxy for royalty and most of us know places where there are families so rich they literally can get away with murder. In White Oaks, the family patriarch assigns an illegal bucket list item for his four grown child ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A funny read with extremely Southern characters that’ll have you grinning while simultaneously rolling your eyes.

Aimee, Trainor and Marsh all vied for their father’s affection. At ninety, Blanton was ...”worth about forty billion dollars, by last reckoning.” His eldest daughter from his first marriage, Karen, was never really around. But they feared he favored her. Helping prepare for Gong Gong’s Birthday extravaganza, as his only grandchild affectionately referred to him, was going to take a lo
Liz Etnyre
What a horrid, unlikable, pretentious family! (It's a bit disturbing when the 'good' sibling is the black market arms dealer.) This was less a 'Gothic thriller' and more a satire or farce. That said, despite being loaded with unflattering stereotypes, seemingly interminable brand name dropping, an over-convoluted plot, and a certain level of repetition, this ended up being a reasonably enjoyable read. It rather reminded me of the movie 'The Pink Panther', or maybe 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels', in t ...more
Ted Myers
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A hilariously wicked read, from beginning to end.

I was expecting a typical Southern Gothic storyline in which three siblings—Aimee Trapnell and her two brothers, Trainor and Marsh—vie for the billions their cantankerous ninety-year-old father, Blanton, would be leaving them in the near future. Perhaps first vying to win his favor over the others, then, I imagined, bumping each other off. While one such murder does occur (to a much older half-sister and a very minor character), the plot takes a s
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wealthy families fathers birthday was coming up soon and he had a family meeting to tell them what he wanted for his birthday. Their dad was about 90 years old then. What a surprise when he told them he wanted to strangle a man . Odd choice for a birthday gift. Lots of people getting murdered then. This sigul object was important to lots of people . It was to mean the end of the world. It was stolen . It belonged to the daughters husband. Strange the things that happen then and whose who in th ...more
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yikes and oh first read of about 2 chapters I most seriously did not like the characters in this book at all. Found them egotistical and totally self centered to the point where murdering someone is really no big deal. But then the siblings grew on me...
Aimee,Marsh and Trainor are very spoiled brats with more money then they really should have....what they get embroiled in and all the ensuing plots thereafter leave you shaking your head and saying"Did that just happen" Good read.
Mary Bramwell
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Funny, quirky, and full of surprises!
This is not your typical story. It's a tale with wonderful twists along that way, but one that never takes itself too seriously. I found myself liking the characters simply because they are soooo self-absorbed and absurd. These caricatures, the delightful writing style, and the story itself will make you smile. Highly recommend.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part murder mystery, part scavenger hunt, part Southern family drama, all with a darkly humorous edge - a wonderful read! You will find yourself growing fond of the three siblings at the heart of the story, even though you know you shouldn't. A quick read, easy to finish off in a day. A Definite recommend. ...more
Judy Uckotter
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was an interesting read until close to the end. It was very anticlimactic. Also, I guess the writer wanted to keep reminding the reader that the Trapnells were a very rich family so she would describe clothes, furniture, hotels, etc. using the designer names. Got a little annoying after awhile.
Brandon Barrows
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dark and strange with characters you can both laugh at and aren't afraid to hate (because they're pretty darned scummy), WHITE OAKS goes places you won't expect. And just as you think you've gotten a handle on what comes next, it swings you off down a different path and keeps you guessing. You won't see the ending coming! ...more
Becky Adams
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I really enjoyed this book. Intrigue and humor. The southern brothers and sisters are truly self absorbed and deadly. Loved the mean old father who wants to kill someone for his 90th birthday. Stand alone book but I just got to get the next one.
Kate Church
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happened next. I can't wait to read more by this author. @brwpublishers @jillhand ...more
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
White Oaks is a thriller with interesting characters and dark comedy. A well written story with action, mystery, and murder with a few interesting twists you won't see coming. A fun read! ...more
Gwen Schwartz
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great reading from 1st to last page.

This book was so much better than the description. It actually grabbed me from the first page and held my attention (which is about as long as a gnats! Which isn't very long) until the final page. The characters were so fun and full of life. The descriptions of all things designer, did grate on my nerves a bit (but integral to the storyline) the lives of the main characters spanned to encompass a myriad of settings, to which I will never be a part of, but I s
Dan Sexton
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Intiguing Read!!

I read the sample, assuming it might be another loser that I could delete and move on. I was very wrong, to say the least. Even before finishing the sample I did the unusual (for me, at least), and got the full novel. I have not put the Kindle down since that time and just finished it. I am not an "easy touch" when it comes to book reviews, and only infrequently generate a review. It has to be very good or very bad to inspire me to take the time to do a review! Luckily, this o
Carol McNeal
Nov 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to say it, but I thought this book was rather dumb. I kept reading hoping it would get better, but it never did, so I finally gave up half way through. The idea that an old man would ask his children to find someone for him to strangle, and then the idea that they would actually do that is just preposterous. That was followed by so much more stupidity, the whole thing was just ridiculous.
Colette Q
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was definitely a different book to read. The story and characters were entertaining and I found it quite amusing. The twisted plot and uniqueness made it seem far-fetched however as truth is often stranger than fiction, especially when it involves the peculiarities of the mega-rich, the story became one that just had to be finished the more pages I turned. Although this book is not one I would normally select to read, I really enjoyed it.
William Mays
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one to root for

There's no one much to root for in this ambitious book. Four siblings are out for inheritance and will stop at nothing. The patriarch wants nothing more than to strangle someone to death before he leaves the mortal coil. The characters are cartoonish. Yet they are also all way too familiar. As it turns out the main character Aimee has some redeeming characteristics and you keep reading because it is fun and because humanity might just find redemption
Beth McGee
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leaves you laughing and crying

This crazy book with crazy characters leaves you wondering whether you want to laugh or cry. The characters exhibit the shallowness of small mud puddles, the same ones in which they appear to bathe their moral fiber. The snobbery of most of the characters is ridiculed by those with a more down to earth approach, but the reader still waits for the snobs to be brought down a few pegs. This book is very entertaining!
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