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When We Were Bright and Beautiful: A Novel (edició 2022)
de Jillian Medoff (Autor)
Informació de l'obra
When We Were Bright and Beautiful de Jillian Medoff
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What a ride! When her brother's ex accuses him of rape, Cassie knows it's not true. Her wealthy, somewhat dysfunctional family summons her home to present a united front. But the rape investigation forces Cassie to face some uncomfortable truths about her own past. Her affair with a much older married man may not be as innocent as she desperately tries to make it.
Much of this book centers on a night in March when Billy and Diana drunkenly leave a party. However, since the narrator, Cassie, was not present for most of the key events, the reader discovers the twists, turns and conflicting evidence about Diana and Billy's relationship through courtroom testimony.
The reader quickly discovers that Cassie's not the most truthful of narrators, fully comfortable with rewriting history to serve her narrative. As she breezily introduces the readers to the glitzy world of trust fund millionaires, and her sometimes contentious relationship with her adopted parents and brothers, the story beneath the story starts to peek through. Cassie's a complicated character, fierce yet vulnerable and damaged, manipulative yet loving, and a fighter for what she wants and perceives as truth. The more you get to know her, the more she tugs at your heartstrings.
A profound take on the Me Too movement set amidst a world of wealth and privilege.
Cassie receives a call from her brother Nate that their younger brother, Billy, has been arrested for rape. Cassie knows that he is innocent. When Cassie returns home from her studies at Yale, she is asked to stand by her brother and family in the courtroom. Her parents, Lawrence and Eleanor, are extremely wealthy, and their wealth buys them the best lawyers.
But, as Billy stands trial, Det. Haggerty asks Cassie to tell her own story. As she does, some very disturbing truths about the family come to light.
This was a very difficult book for me to read because I struggled with the subject. It made me ill to think of what Cassie had been subjected to in her young life. I anguished over her and her feelings and how she was manipulated.
When We Were Bright and Beautiful by Jillian Medoff is a highly recommended novel that is part domestic thriller and part courtroom drama.
The Quinn family is a uber-wealthy family living in Manhattan. Parents, Lawrence and Eleanor have two sons, Nate and Billy, and an unofficially adopted daughter, Cassie. When Billy Quinn is arrested for a sexually assaulting his girlfriend, Cassie and Nate both go home to support Billy and their parents. The Quins can afford the best attorney money can buy, but Billy's profile, a white, athletic, and privileged male will immediately prejudice the media and potentially a jury against him. Cassie wonders why Billy’s ex-girlfriend Diana would be so vindictive that she make these accusations against him.
The Quinns have secrets that they need to keep that way, but they all ban together to unflinchingly support Billy. As Cassie narrates the story, we learn about the preparations for Billy's defense but it is also revealed that Cassie had a sexual relationship as a teen with an older married man named Marcus. She claims the relationship was consensual, but that is in question as she now ponders how it’s affected her life.
Readers are presented a challenge immediately at the start of When We Were Bright and Beautiful. For many of us it is a challenge to love wealthy, entitled, condescending, obnoxious characters from NYC who always believe they can change things to suit them and whine when things don't go their way. And this family is very, very dysfunctional. Additionally, Cassie, who is the narrator, seems like an unreliable narrator. You will know that you probably aren't getting a complete picture of reality.
There is a lot of information that needs to be shared but Cassie, as mentioned, isn't reliable or succinctly sharing facts, so the information seems to trickle out. It felt slow moving at the beginning for me. But then, after the half way point, everything flips upside down and sideways, bringing more clarity to Cassie's unsteadiness and what I felt was odd behavior at times. The courtroom scenes reveal more than facts about Billy's case.
There is foreshadowed by Cassie slowly revealing information leading up to the trial which also changes your perception of her. It is at this point that you will recall previous hints at the dark secrets and what was happening in this family. The ending is volatile as the breadth of the deeply hidden and shocking secrets and trauma is exposed. This is a heartbreaking novel.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.
"Two parts Gone Girl, two parts Notes on a Scandal. . .will play with your expectations about who's the villain and who's the victim." -- Jennifer Weiner, USA Today The acclaimed, bestselling author of This Could Hurt returns with her biggest, boldest novel yet--an electrifying, twisty, and deeply emotional family drama, set on Manhattan's glittering Upper East Side, that explores the dark side of love, the limits of loyalty, and the high cost of truth. You can have everything, and still not have enough. Cassie Quinn may only be twenty-three, but she knows a few things. One: money can't buy happiness, but it's certainly better to have it. Two: family matters most. Three: her younger brother Billy is not a rapist. When Billy, a junior at Princeton, is arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Cassie races home to Manhattan to join forces with her big brother Nate and their parents, Lawrence and Eleanor. The Quinns scramble to hire the best legal minds money can buy, but Billy fits the all-too-familiar sex-offender profile--white, athletic, and privileged--that makes headlines and sways juries. Meanwhile, Cassie struggles to understand why Billy's ex Diana would go this far, even if the breakup was painful. And she knows how the end of first love can destroy someone: Her own years-long affair with a powerful, charismatic man left her shattered, and she's only recently regained her footing. As reporters converge outside their Upper East Side landmark building, the Quinns gird themselves for a media-saturated trial, and Cassie vows she'll do whatever it takes to save Billy. But what if that means exposing her own darkest secrets to the world? Lightning-paced and psychologically astute as it rockets toward an explosive ending, When We Were Bright and Beautiful is a dazzling novel that asks: who will pay the price when the truth is revealed?
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
I feel this book was trying just a little too hard to be a metoo book. Me Too is mentioned several times, and all the drama with all the bad men just seemed like A Lot. Also, It tried too hard to point out all the inequities and the “life is just not fair”s- but it was all in passing like, yup this is the way it is, too bad, so sad. And bam, we’ve moved on to Cassie’s very important problems. ( )