Book Review of The Emperor's Children

The Emperor's Children
reviewed on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10

My mother-in-law gave me this book when I told her I was spending a lot of time reading with the baby at my breast. Like a lot of novels, it had acclaims printed all over it, and three full pages of critic quotes praising it at the beginning. However, for me it failed to deliver. The beginning kind of dragged, for one. Also, the author tended to write her character's thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness format that was incredibly hard to follow. She would start a sentance with a thought, then interrupt it with a second thought, then a third, then maybe a fourth, and then finish up the first thought. It was very hard to follow. Also, her characters were, for the most part, incredibly hard to sympathize with. The main characters were in their 30s and selfish, entitled, and bratty. I wanted to smack the lot of them. I think the reason the book got such rave reviews is that it takes place in 2001, from March to November, and the climax is the September 11th attacks. I had to work hard to get myself in a pre-9/11 mindset for the beginning of the book, and when the attacks came I was as shocked as the characters. Without including the horror of September 11th, her book would have been a tremendous disappointment. With it, the story was almost redeemed. Almost. I think the melancholy nature of many of the characters through the book affected my own post-partum mood.