To children, their parents are just that- individuals who live to serve their offspring with benevolent transparency. At some point, as we get older we are able to peer beyond the veil a bit and accept the fact that our mothers and fathers had lives and goings on completely independent of us. The level to which we can digest this is the focus of
Susan Rieger’s new novel The Heirs.
Rupert and Eleanor Falkes are the successful, wealthy, and proud creators of five equally successful and wealthy sons. Each is markedly different in temperament and motivation but share traits of their parents as well as a common goal to remain unified as a family. The cornerstone of their beliefs is challenged when the family patriarch passes away at a relatively young age, leaving the family to restructure and adapt as allegations of affairs and illegitimate sons come to light. Rieger focuses on each son separately and collectively, with chapters devoted to each, as well as to those significant in their lives. Through their experiences, we slowly gain an understanding of who Rupert and Eleanor are at their core, apart from familial ties and obligations.
The Heirs is no cheap, trashy society read; it’s a smart story about smart people who follow winding roads and are haunted by “what if’s”. Rieger avoids archetypes and instead creates a unique, understated heroine in Eleanor- surrounded by men she loves and men who love her.