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Share Give access Share full text access. Return to Book Page. For readers of Rules of Civility and The Marriage Plot, this engrossing, very smart novel about passion, betrayal, class and friendship delves deeply into the lives of two generations, against backgrounds as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Boston, Shenzhen and Fisher's Island. It is the most accomplished book-by far-of this prominent young author's career.
Cambridge, Massachusett For readers of Rules of Civility and The Marriage Plot, this engrossing, very smart novel about passion, betrayal, class and friendship delves deeply into the lives of two generations, against backgrounds as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Boston, Shenzhen and Fisher's Island. Cambridge, Massachusetts, two students meet one autumn evening during their senior year at Harvard-Ed, a Jewish kid on scholarship, and Hugh, a Boston Brahmin with the world at his feet.
Ed is unapologetically ambitious and girl-crazy, while Hugh is ambivalent about everything aside from his dedicated pining for the one girl he's ever loved. An immediate, intense friendship is sparked that night between these two opposites, which ends just as abruptly, several years later, although only one of them understands why. A Dual Inheritance follows the lives of Ed and Hugh for next several decades, as their paths-in spite of their rift, in spite of their wildly different social classes, personalities and choices-remain strangely and compellingly connected.
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A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon | emykytoj.tk: Books
Published May 7th by Ballantine Books first published January 1st More Details Other Editions 9. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Dual Inheritance , please sign up. Lists with This Book.
Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 10, Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it it was ok Shelves: all-fiction , did-not-work-for-me , cultural-and-social-commentary. I made it almost to the halfway point, and then Hershon completely lost me. The first few chapters were promising. It seemed like it was going to be a sort of anthropological study using class-conscious characters. The more I read, the more it felt like the author had no idea what her purpose was in writing the novel.
When I got to the chapters about the Wall Street chaos, it was so confusing and so far off the track from the original story that I just couldn't care anymore. View all 3 comments. Dec 26, Jessica Jeffers rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction , netgalley. I just can't with this book. The characters aren't interesting, the plot isn't interesting, the writing itself isn't interesting. Reading the first half has turned out to be kind of a chore and I think I'm throwing in the towel.
Mar 23, Adelle Waldman rated it it was amazing. A Dual Inheritance is the kind of novel you get lost in--it is a big, sweeping, involving drama full of vividly rendered characters whose fates you care about deeply. As I read, the real world faded.
I wanted only to be in the fictional world that Hershon created. The book follows a handful of characters from their undergraduate years at Harvard in the s to the present day, moving along the way from New York to Africa to the Caribbean and back again, and growing to include the unfolding live A Dual Inheritance is the kind of novel you get lost in--it is a big, sweeping, involving drama full of vividly rendered characters whose fates you care about deeply. The book follows a handful of characters from their undergraduate years at Harvard in the s to the present day, moving along the way from New York to Africa to the Caribbean and back again, and growing to include the unfolding lives of their children.
At the book's center is a love triangle that is gripping and believable without being at all sentimental: the desire to know how it will ultimately unfold for characters we have come to know so well makes it very difficult to put down the book. Not only are the characters extremely well-drawn--like Jonathan Franzen's, they feel exceptionally vivid and lifelike--Hershon also renders the shifting social and historical context with great precision and intelligence. She writes with a seemingly effortless authority about everything from the changing racial demographics of Boston neighborhoods in the s to the machinations of Wall Street financiers--but she never loses focus on her wonderful cast of characters and the personal dramas that drive the book forward.
This is a book that will be read with great pleasure by anyone who loves an old-fashioned, character-driven novel in the tradition of many of the most beloved nineteenth century novels. I look back with fondness on the weekend I spent lost in its pages and envy those who still have the pleasure of reading the book for the first time to look forward to.
Jun 15, David Kinchen rated it really liked it. The kind of book Anthony Trollope was famous for in the 19th Century. My choice for a comparable Trollope novel: his masterpiece "The Way We Live Now" with its plot of financial skullduggery and the clash of classes -- both essential elements of Hershon's novel. It's autumn and two unlikely Harvard students meet and find common ground. Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley meet in their final year at Harvard.
Ed and Hugh develop an unlikely friendship, reinforced by a shared desire to transcend their circumstances, but complicated by their rivalry for the affections of Helen Ordway, whose parents have a home on Fishers Island, part of New York state but just offshore of Connecticut in the Long Island Sound. A few years after their "cute meet" at Harvard their paths diverge -- Ed rising on Wall Street thanks to his friendship and mentorship with Helen's financier dad, and Hugh becoming a global humanitarian with medical clinics in Tanzania. The book's title could just as well be "A Duel Inheritance," because of their clash over the love of Helen, who ends up marrying Hugh after a brief affair with Ed.
And nobody is more complicated than Ed's and Jill's daughter Rebecca, unless it's Hugh and Helen's daughter Vivi, who are best friends. Their friendship is the link between Ed and Hugh, however tenuous and frayed it is at various times up to the novel's end on Fishers Island in when everybody meets to celebrate Vivi's wedding.
It didn't take me long to become absorbed by the characters in "A Dual Inheritance" and I think many readers looking for a big book to sink their literary teeth into will be similarly addicted. In addition to the authors mentioned above, think Nancy Thayer and Meg Wolitzer. Feb 28, Owen rated it really liked it Shelves: notable , netgalley. This is a very long book and it encompasses so much. At times it felt like the author was going off to confusing places but she managed to stay on track for the most part.
I like how she focused on these two characters, Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley, and followed them through their lives post-Harvard. I was curious at first to see whether Joanna Hershon would play off of the Harvard stereotypes or try to avoid them. I would say she did both. We have Ed, who is Jewish and comes from a family that This is a very long book and it encompasses so much. Then we have Hugh, who was born into an incredibly rich family. A Dual Inheritance is very different from the types of books I usually read. And I appreciated that. The prose takes on a nonchalant attitude that does not mean uncaring, but simplistic.
Despite the fact that the timeline was often interrupted and jumped around, I felt a connection to both Ed and Hugh. The two men are extraordinarily different, so the core of their friendship was at first difficult to find but they proved that over time, their relationship grew stronger. One thing I liked about this book was the diversity of setting.
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Many people only stay in one location as they grow older but these characters traveled all over the world. From China to Africa, and Haiti to New York, each chapter of their lives was provided with a fascinating locale. A Duel Inheritance rose above the expectations I had for it, but I did have a few complaints. Mostly, the length. At almost five hundred pages, this book is unnecessarily long.
Usually what was occurring was important to the story but a lot could have been taken out. It took me a while to get into it but I eventually did, and I ended up reading the second half in one day.
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This book is very American, and portrays the characters that attend one of the most prestigious colleges in the world. They go on to become very successful, and I think you will find that although they do well for themselves, they have their own human problems. I did not catch any misspellings and it looked very clean and nice, no glitches that are common with Kindle versions of books. Feb 12, Jenni Buchanan rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction. This book was one of my favorites of the past four weeks. Very grand in scope, but intimate in execution, A Dual Inheritance spans two families, three continents, and five decades, but it always manages to feel immediate and personal.
It tells the story of Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley, two very different young men who meet in college and become unlikely friends; the story then follows Ed and Hugh and eventually each of their daughters through the next 50 years as they chase very different dre This book was one of my favorites of the past four weeks.
It tells the story of Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley, two very different young men who meet in college and become unlikely friends; the story then follows Ed and Hugh and eventually each of their daughters through the next 50 years as they chase very different dreams, meet with great success, terrible ruin, and discover—after each trying to abandon the legacy of their family and their past—that family is, after all is said and done, the only constant, and the only relief we have.
A Dual Inheritance is a love story of epic proportions. Mar 26, Lindley rated it really liked it. I am a sucker for generational novels--I like to see how the choices people make play out in the scheme of their lives--and the lives of their friends and family. To me, they seem more realistic. The story doesn't end with marriage, or with the guy getting the girl--it's more rewarding to see what happens afterward. A Dual Inheritance allowed me to see how two Harvard friends' lives came together, diverged, and came together again due to the choices they made.
I especially enjoyed the moments in I am a sucker for generational novels--I like to see how the choices people make play out in the scheme of their lives--and the lives of their friends and family. I especially enjoyed the moments in the novel when Ed paused to consider how his life could have played out differently if he had taken a single different action at that moment.
It was also rewarding to see how Ed, Hugh, and Helen's choices ultimately shaped the lives and personalities of their children and sent them in unforeseen directions. I enjoyed following the lives of Hershon's characters and would agree with the comparison to the Marriage Plot, especially in the novel's final pages. May 27, Amanda Kay rated it it was ok Shelves: read-in My copy is an ARC. I'm not quite sure what to think of this book. On the one hand, Hershon has a nice writing style and pace and tells a good story.
On the other, this is just another in a series of upper crust NY novels, all of which feature privileged people telling their stories and whining.
Dual inheritance theory
I think Hershon was attempting a love story for the ages, perhaps the way people can't let go of their first love. The result is a rather boring story that spans nearly half a century and never has a climaxing point. I'm not even sure I can say anything else about this book. It's an okay read, a bit boring, but not terrible. In the end, I just felt like it was "there.
View 1 comment. Mar 13, Linda Dickson rated it really liked it. I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. You instantly identify with both main characters, probably because we all knew someone like them in college. It is an intriguing tale of two college classmates who form a lifelong bond. The two have nothing in common, save that they are both on the social fringes of campus life for entirely different reasons.
Ed, stout, short, rough around the edges and only in school through hard work and scholorships. Hugh, suave, tall, from a we I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Hugh, suave, tall, from a well-heeled family and never had to worry about grades or the money to stay in school. The story follows their lives, loves and families over several decades, through interesting twists, turns, downfalls and hard learned lessons.
You will find this one hard to put down.
Feb 21, Danielle Villano rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was a really wonderful and thought-provoking read. It presents a beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship, and how that friendship grows, dulls, and rekindles. I began to think of the important relationships in my life; a book that allows you to reflect like that is certainly something special. Aug 06, Lesley rated it it was ok Shelves: first-reads. The novel traces the friendship of Ed Cantowitz, a poor Jewish boy, and Hugh Shipley, a wealthy WASP, from the time they meet at Harvard in their senior year until they are middle-aged.
There is a woman in the mix, too.
Her name is Helen, and she is the third point of their romantic triangle. We follow all three of them as they embark on careers, relationships, and travel. I am in the minority here, but I didn't think this book was so hot. It was trying to be a sweeping saga of a friendship over the course of many years, but I found it cliched and a little tiresome. I couldn't feel that sympathetic toward any of the characters. Neither Ed nor Hugh were particularly likeable, and I felt like both of them were caricatures of what they should have been.
That is to say that I think the author was trying to be deep, but I don't think she was. Also, there were some odd plot twists that did not feel natural at all. And events that I would expect Hershon to linger on i. All in all, I would not recommend this book. It could have been good, but it was just okay. Jan 30, Jennifer rated it it was amazing.
This sweeping, gorgeously-textured novel is the finest yet from Hershon, showcasing her unique ability to find grace and insight in the simplest of moments, the sparest of gestures. And, I think there are good reasons for that. If this story began a few decades later--in the era of Facebook-stalking--and Ed and Hugh could keep tabs on each another without being in touch, would their friendship or connection change? That core is sort of broken. Joanna Hershon: I really pride myself on my titles, and I love titling pieces, but this one was really hard. I had this idea that I wanted it to be redolent of anthropology in a way, because a lot of this novel is about tribes.
And about going outside of your tribe, or staying within your tribe, what does a tribe mean, do you choose your tribe And then one of my really good friends read the book and she came up with that title. I came upon the fact that it actually is an anthropological theory. It bizarrely sums up, in a clinical way, what the book is about.