Hoover Public Library Adult Fiction's Reviews > This Beautiful Life

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman
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's review
Nov 18, 2011

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bookshelves: family-issues, general-fiction

Helen Schulman writes a very contemporary story. What would happen if your teenage son did something incredibly stupid and damaging to himself and all those around him? This is the story of a very successful couple who've moved to New York City to live the American dream. Richard and Liz Bergamots are highly educated and motivated. Richard has just accepted a coveted position at a NY university while Liz has put her career on hold for her children. Jake is fifteen and Coco is six. Jake seems to be fitting in with his private school mates while Coco is florishing. Then, in one weekend, Jake goes to a party and receives a private email with an x-rated video done by a thirteen year old girl. He's embarrashed and proud and sends it to his best friend - who then sends it on and it goes viral. Soon, everyone in New York state, along with half the United States has seen it and Richard and Liz have to deal with the consequences. What happens here could happen to anyone. It's how we deal with the fallout that makes for a good story. Schulman handles this superbly and you'll be anxious to see how it ends.
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