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The Fortunate Ones

by Ed Tarkington

The Fortunate Ones by Ed Tarkington X
The Fortunate Ones by Ed Tarkington
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jan 5, 2021
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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  • Nancy D. (Raleigh, NC)
    True to Oneself
    I don't often read books where the protagonist is a male. I sometimes find them a little difficult. This certainly was not the case with The Fortunate Ones by Ed Tarkington. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Charlie Boykin and his journey through the lives of the "elite" of Nashville. He sacrifices a lot to keep himself in a place where he believed the "grass is always greener". While he invests much into the friendships, it appears he get very little back in return. The relationship between Charlie and his mother is a sad one. She was the true architect of his acceptance into Yeatman and how it impacts both their life. I didn't care for Arch, Jamie, Vanessa or some of the other characters who only seemed to care about themselves, their place in the world, their ambitions and their wants. I believe they all use Charlie in one way of another, but, truly, Charlie not only let them, but seemed to enjoy his new life. However, throughout it all Charlie seems to grow and truly began to understand himself and the life that he was thrown into. A very timely book which deals with present day issue and their impact on everyone's life. But throughout it all, it is Charlie's struggle to be the man he was meant to be that keeps one captivated by this book.
  • Lee M. (Wentzville, MO)
    My Charmed Life
    Charlie Boykin has graduated from eight grade and he and his friend Terrance are looking forward to high school. He lives in East Nashville with his mother and aunt and he will be attending as a white in a mostly black school again but thinks high school might be different. When his mother brings him to Yeatman School in Belle Mead and tells him he could attend there instead, Charlie never hesitates and never looks back. The book follows Charlie through his 'coming of age' high school and beyond as both he and his mother find it nicer to live on the better side of Nashville. Although he never questions how he became so lucky, will Charlie have to pay the piper? I loved the writing and the story but felt a current of sadness running through the book. Although there was talk of love most of the actions, except for ones on the first few pages, did not feel like love.
  • Virginia P. (Tallahassee, FL)
    The Fortunate Ones
    Ed Tarkington is a new author to me and I liked "The Fortunate Ones" so much that I have bought his first book, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." For southern readers, the places and names in his book are very familiar, but the book has universal appeal as it tells a story of misdeeds and redemption. There is a line in the book that sums up the story very well and that is "No great temple was ever built without a few bodies buried beneath its foundation." I highly recommend the book.
  • Carmel B. (The Villages, FL)
    Universal Truths Re-Examined
    From Saturday morning's first cup of java to Sunday evening's last glass of wine, this compact, riveting story is mesmerizing. The engaging pace, believable characters and heart-warming, sometimes melancholy narrative is the first "weekend read" I have enjoyed in a long time. It is rare to find one novel pondering dichotomies relative to so many subjects: family, friendship, politics, and self-discovery; love, longing, and lust; faith, fear and forgiveness, particularly self-forgiveness. Tarkington illuminated one of my long-held personal truths: "Sometimes, one has no choice but to follow reckless urges." This is my first Tarkington novel, but it will not be my last.
  • Sharon R. (Deerfield, IL)
    A Coming of Age Novel
    This remarkable novel is a coming of age story that is very contemporary. There is the privileged side of town and the "other side of town". Both sides have the same struggles but obviously, because of money, there issues are resolved differently. There are multiple twists and turns that I did not expect or see coming. The writing by Mr. Tarkington is engrossing, I finished the book in one day. I HAD to know what the outcome was going to be! One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from one of the teachers in the book, "It seems these days more and more people assume that because a man is wealthy he should be trusted to lead, or to govern. They overlook the fact that wealth is often acquired without discipline or principle" Book Clubs are going to have a field day with all components of this fine novel.
  • Cynthia A. (Grand Rapids, MI)
    All that glitters is not gold
    All that glitters is not gold.

    The grass is NOT greener on the other side of the fence.

    These are just two of the sayings that came to mind while reading this book.
    I was hooked from the beginning. This is such a good story with many interesting characters and lots of twists and turns. The characters are from different societal groups, income levels, education, talents and walks of life. And yet deep down they are all the same, with hopes, dreams, plans, insecurities and confidence.

    I wish there was a sequel because I want to know what comes next
  • Laura C. (Woodworth, LA)
    The perils of privilege
    The Fortunate Ones could be summed up with several platitudes. "Be careful what you wish for. All that glitters is not gold. The grass is always greener on the other side." But Ed Tarkington's tale of the haves and the have nots of Nashville is a deep dive into the sobering reality of wanting and trying to be what one is not. Teenager Charlie Boykin walks that tightrope in an elite private school where his admission is thanks to the generosity of wealthy donors. Charlie's assigned big brother, Arch Creigh, football standout, opens all the doors into Charlie's new world. But even as Charlie learns the ropes of his new privileged life, the secrets and flaws of his new friends emerge, including of his mentor, Arch. Disillusioned and torn between going along and distancing himself from the pull of what he knows is wrong, Charlie struggles with the moral choices he faces. Tarkington, with Charlie as narrator, paints a remarkably touching and realistic picture of the angst experienced by someone suddenly pulled from poor to privileged, while trying not to lose oneself in the process. Tarkington writes a cautionary and thoughtful tale for anyone who has wondered what it would be like to live the high life. The Fortunate Ones has huge book club potential.
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