The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud
In Manhattan, just after the century's turn, three thirty-year-old friends, Danielle, Marina and Julius, are seeking their fortunes. But the arrival of Marina's young cousin Bootie - fresh from the provinces and keen, too, to make his mark - forces them to confront their own desires and expectations. The Emperor's Children is a sweeping portrait of one of the most fascinating cities in the world, and a haunting illustration of how the events of a single day can change everything, for ever.
`Brilliant . . . a masterpiece'
Independent on Sunday
`Intelligent and unsparing . . . The Emperor's Children is likely to be one of the most talked-about novels of the autumn . . . Buy two copies; give one to a friend'
`Messud's prose is a timely and intensely pleasurable reminder of the possibilities of the English language. To use the word clarity about her style - dense, chaste, luminously intelligent - is to return the word to its origins; this is style as illumination, shining a searching yet sympathetic light on the minds and inner worlds of her characters, and as a radiant mode of moral inquiry'
`As large-hearted as it is ambitious, this is a novel that combines the old-fashioned art of storytelling with a clear-eyed view of the modern world'