23 April 2011

This Beautiful Life; Helen Schulman

This Beautiful Life: A NovelThis Beautiful Life: A Novel by Helen Schulman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A book about the aftereffects of sexting is certainly timely, but this is more for adults than a YA audience.

Lizzie and Richard Bergamot are both highly educated, but Lizzie has given up her professional life to raise their children as Richard climbs the academic life ladder. After several happy years in Ithaca, they move to New York, where Richard is the vice chancellor at a version of Columbia and their children, Jake and Coco, attend a version of Fieldston. One evening Jake goes to a party, makes out with a younger girl, rejects her and she sends him an erotic video - one forward click later everyone's life changes.

Schulman has decided to tell this story from several points of view, but the voices don't sound different from character to character. Given that we hear what's going on in Jake's mind, it was disappointing that he didn't seem to go through more introspection - I felt that we only got surface impressions, nothing deeper. The description is a little florid and at times I thought "less, not more".

ARC provided by publisher.

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