Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Good Rich People

Good Rich People
  Good Rich People
Author:  Eliza Jane Brazier
Publication Information:  Berkeley. 2022. 336 pages.
ISBN:  0593198255 / 978-0593198254

Book Source:  I received this book through NetGalley free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "There is blood in the fountain turning the water an eerie rust color."

Favorite Quote:  "A life is a dangerous things to have. I'm surprised everyone get one. Most people don't know what to do with it."

Some are rich, so rich that it seems that money does not matter and poverty is not within their realm of imagination. Some are poor, so poor as to be homeless. Either end of the spectrum looks only at those richer than themselves. When the two collide, a story of social commentary ensues. It has the potential to be powerful commentary.

Lyla and Graham are the rich. Graham and his mother Margo have this "hobby". Their hobby is to invite someone to live in their guest house and then proceed to ruin their life. It is a competition between the two. Why? The only point in the book appears to be why not? The "someone" is usually a self-made success, and these rich cannot abide another success. They must reduce the person and take away that success. As a mother-son dynamic, much can be read into that disturbing relationship.

Lyla has never been a party to this. However, at this point, she is forced. She must take on the next tenant of the guesthouse. "I have known money long enough to realize that it always comes with strings attached. And I have known the world long enough to know that at its core, it's a game. Either you play or you are the one being played with." The book reminds me of a mix of The War of the Roses and The Most Dangerous Game.

Demi is the poor. She is in the wrong place at the wrong time or perhaps the right place at the right time. She finds herself in Lyla and Graham's guesthouse. They mistake her for their guest. She may not understand that for Lyla and Graham this is a game. However, she at the same time decides to outplay the gamers.

Neither knows the other truly. 

The story is told from the perspectives of the two women - Lyla and Demi. The chapters are short and choppy. A set of chapters tell a part of the story from one woman's perspectives. A subsequent set tells the same scenario from the other perspective. Sometimes, the telling gets confusing as the reader has to pull back to the point at this a section picks up.

The book has an interesting premise, and satire and social commentary couched in this premise could make for a powerful book. At times, it is entertaining. However, in these games, none of the characters are likable. There is no one to root for to win this game. There is a twist; however, the book does not reach the point of being a page-turning thriller. It is dark and at times disturbing. The story does not carry the power that the premise holds.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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