“Buzzy and enthralling …A glorious novel about empires and erasures, husbands and wives, staggering fortunes and unspeakable misery…Fun as hell to read.” —Oprah Daily
"A genre-bending, time-skipping story about New York City’s elite in the roaring ’20s and Great Depression."—Vanity Fair
“A riveting story of class, capitalism, and greed.” —Esquire
"Exhilarating.” —New York Times
An unparalleled novel about money, power, intimacy, and perception
Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth—all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit.
Hernan Diaz’s TRUST elegantly puts these competing narratives into conversation with one another—and in tension with the perspective of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction. The result is a novel that spans over a century and becomes more exhilarating with each new revelation.
At once an immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle, TRUST engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Trust is a complex literary novel that’s also an absolute joy to read. Hernán Díaz (author of the Pulitzer-nominated In the Distance) constructs his story like a series of nesting dolls. The story starts as a 1930s-era novel about shadowy New York financier Benjamin Rask and his emotionally fragile wife, Helen. When that book’s real-life inspiration is outraged about the way the bestseller misrepresents his wife, he begins writing a memoir of his own. Trust then takes two more big turns that are too good to spoil. Suffice to say, Díaz’s novel is about money and power and love, as well as who gets to tell their own stories. This is a book that fans of writers as different as Edith Wharton and David Mitchell will enjoy—and a surefire book club favorite.
Diaz returns after his Pulitzer finalist In the Distance with a wondrous portrait in four texts of devious financier Andrew Bevel, who survives the Wall Street crash of 1929 and becomes one of New York City's chief financial barons before dying a decade later at age 62. First there is Bonds, a novel by controversial writer Harold Vanner, which tells the story of Benjamin Rask, a character clearly based on Bevel. The novel, published shortly before Bevel's death, infuriates the magnate, particularly for its depiction of Bevel's deceased wife, Mildred, as a fragile madwoman. Bevel responds by undertaking a memoir, which only serves to highlight his own touchiness and lack of imagination. The third story-within-the-story is the most significant; in it, the reader meets Ida Partenza, daughter of an Italian anarchist in exile, who, in pursuit of her own writerly ambitions, suppresses both her own conscience and the suspicions of her suitor, Jack, to become Bevel's secretary and coconspirator in ruining Harold Vanner, as Ida concocts a counternarrative of a saintly Mildred. The reader eventually hears from Mildred directly via her journal, discovered by Ida during her research and included as a coda. The result is a kaleidoscope of capitalism run amok in the early 20th century, which also manages to deliver a biography of its irascible antihero and the many lives he disfigures during his rise to the cream of the city's crop. Grounded in history and formally ambitious, this succeeds on all fronts. Once again, Diaz makes the most of his formidable gifts.