Jonathan Dee is the critically acclaimed author of Palladio. With The Privileges, Dee crafts a “suspenseful, melancholy, and acidly funny tale” (Booklist). In it, ambitious couple Adam and Cynthia Morey marry straight out of college and have two children. Then Adam, unfulfilled with his job at a private investment firm, becomes involved in insider trading and gains excessive wealth for his family. But as Adam and Cynthia discover, money can’t buy happiness.
“Thoughtful and bracingly unpredictable …”—Kirkus Reviews
Unfulfilling and fairly dull
I have a high tolerance for "art novels," but this one was disappointing. How in the world did it get short-listed for the Pulitzer? Really a mystery to me. While it provided interesting glimpses into the lives of the unsympathetic main characters, it left me empty and wondering, "Why didn't anything happen?" Perhaps it was the author's intention to leave his reader feeling empty, but I doubt he meant the reader to feel irritation. I wish he would have written one more chapter and tied up a few loose ends. Overall, it was readable but I would not recommend.
One more thing-- while the iTunes review states that the main characters discover that "money can't buy happiness," I did not get that message at all. Instead, it seemed like money really did buy happiness.