Ann J. (Brenham, TX)
A Dual Inheritance
This book traces the lives and families of two extremely different men who become friends as undergraduates. One is born into wealth and establishment - but wants to save third world countries. The other is born poor and Jewish - and wants to make a fortune. The author does an outstanding job of portraying, with great clarity, all aspects and intricacies of these two lives. The observations regarding all aspects of life and human interaction made by the two main characters and their family members seemed not only very accurate, but reflected a deep understanding of two very different lives and places and circumstances in which they found themselves. The two main characters are quite flawed people, but it is those flaws that made them extremely real for me. I felt that generally the first part of the book (which dealt with the parental generation) was better done than the second part (which deal more with the daughters of each of the main characters. However, some of the insights on the part of the daughters were excellent.
I would recommend this book. It is well written, although easy to read, and an excellent study of many aspects of two different lives lived (mostly) in our country over the past fifty years.
Bobbie D. (Boca Raton, FL)
A Harvard Connection
How different these lives might have been had they never met! Take a middle class Jew and introduce him to a wealthy WASP and you have " A Dual Inheritance". The book takes these two young men and follows them into their later years. How they separate and come together again. What they do with their ambition and dreams. And of course there is "the woman". You root for one and then the other to succeed.
I enjoyed reading the book and following their very different lives. Thought it was a bit long.
Mary G. (River Forest, IL)
Good story but invites impatience
It took me about 40 pages to decide to push on through the next 430. If the author's psychoanalysis of her characters interests you, you'll no doubt be caught up in it right away. She tells a good soap opera story, and I'll admit that, once into that part, I wanted to know what happened to these people, even though I didn't much like any of them...and I'm talking 3 generations of 2 families. Still, she insisted on breaking up the flow with her own analyses of what was going on in each person's psyche, and it's just not my thing; I want to get to know the characters by knowing their actions, their words, their non-actions, and I think a good author can do that. In the end, she created just too many cross-loves to meet reality, but I could close the book with satisfaction of knowing - but not believing.