Named one of NPR's Best Books of 2017
"Both original and moving — and a whole lot of fun." — CAROLINE LEAVITT, New York Times Book Review
"A must-read." — People
"Fans of Salinger's stories about Manhattan's elite will enjoy this novel about privileged siblings who grapple with the state of their inheritance and long-held secrets that emerge in the wake of their father's death." — InStyle
Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him. The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him. In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure.
Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together -- Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm -- and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor. The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty – a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor’s sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all.
A riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable, patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out Edith Wharton for the 21st century.
In Rieger's (The Divorce Papers) incisive novel a wealthy Manhattan family is thrown into disarray when their beloved patriarch, Rupert Falkes, dies and leaves a surprising legacy that may tear apart his heirs. When a woman claiming to be Rupert's mistress and the mother of two of his sons demands her share of the estate, it's not a question of money or reputation that sends the Falkes clan reeling, but the possibility that their close-knit bonds were all a lie. Rupert's widow, Eleanor, and their five sons, Harry, Will, Sam, Jack, and Tom, all have different reactions to the grief and confusion as they weigh the decision to have DNA testing done to find out for sure. No matter what they decide, no matter what the outcome of that choice might be, they realize that what they really seek is closure. Rieger wrestles perceptively with difficult questions and, building off a deceptively pedestrian premise, shines incrementally increasing light on the Falkes' extended web of familial and emotional ties, sucking the reader into the tangle of emotions and conflicting interests. Rieger's book is a tense, introspective account of looking for truth, and instead finding peace.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Got hooked and couldn’t put it down
Great story - loved that each chapter told a story of a different character.
Sometimes the conversations between characters was a little unbelievable - but still enjoyable to read.
Truly a phenomenal book. I have book-marked so many passages for their depth and originality. I am going to suggest it to my book club. I highly recommend. Thank you Susan Rieger. Wonderful work!