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A Dual Inheritance

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book spans nearly five decades, traverses several countries

    This book spans nearly five decades, traverses several countries and follows two generations. The first two-thirds follow Hugh, Ed and Helen-- their years through college, and the years following graduation as they learn to navigate adulthood and marriage and family. The last third mostly follows their daughters' as they begin their own lives.

    Two young men meet while attending Harvard. Hugh Shipley comes from money, which really means nothing to him, and he's driven by a need to change the world somehow-- to make a difference. Ed Cantowitz was raised Jewish by a father who was an ex-boxer and a tough character. Ed covets what he doesn't have, and he desires money. On the surface, these two men couldn't seem more different. And yet they develop a relationship as close as brothers.

    I think this is probably one of my favorite books ever! The characters were so richly drawn, you truly felt you knew them, understanding their motives and the baggage they carry through life. The story was realistic, and I don't think there was a single moment when I had to suspend disbelief, thinking "Yeah, right."

    This story starts in 1962, and runs through 2010. It was fascinating to watch their lives progress over the years, to see how they changed, and yet how they remained the same. To see them through the eyes of their daughters. To view their parallel and yet opposing lives.

    Wonderful writing, straight-forward content, rich characters. A simply brilliant novel!

    My final word: This book was a full, rich story. Unadorned and engrossing, it gives a realistic portrayal of the lives of two men. I was constantly amazed at the details thrown in for the character development. Little twists and turns. Even things left out that leave you filling the blanks with little bits that you imagine happened-- things alluded to but never clarified. (There's a nice twist that my mind has decided to fill in, even though it was never even really alluded to.) What can I say? I just loved this book!

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