Author: Ed Tarkington
Genre: General Fiction
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Book Description: When Charlie Boykin was young, he thought his life with his single mother on the working-class side of Nashville was perfectly fine. But when his mother arranges for him to be admitted as a scholarship student to an elite private school, he is suddenly introduced to what the world can feel like to someone cushioned by money. That world, he discovers, is an almost irresistible place where one can bend—and break—rules and still end up untarnished. As he gets drawn into a friendship with a charismatic upperclassman, Archer Creigh, and an affluent family that treats him like an adopted son, Charlie quickly adapts to life in the upper echelons of Nashville society. Under their charming and alcohol-soaked spell, how can he not relax and enjoy it all—the lack of anxiety over money, the easy summers spent poolside at perfectly appointed mansions, the lavish parties, the freedom to make mistakes knowing that everything can be glossed over or fixed?
But over time, Charlie is increasingly pulled into covering for Archer’s constant deceits and his casual bigotry. At what point will the attraction of wealth and prestige wear off enough for Charlie to take a stand—and will he?
The Fortunate Ones is an immersive, elegantly written story that conveys both the seductiveness of this world and the corruption of the people who see their ascent to the top as their birthright.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: This is the first book of 2021 that I read, and wow what a start to the reading year. I have read Ed Tarkington’s first novel Only Love Can Break Your Heart, which I loved, so was excited when the publisher sent me a copy. This book surpassed all my hopes, it was just so good.
We meet our protagonist Charlie as a soldier, as he is delivering the hard news to a military family there son has died while serving. As he goes through all the steps he is mandated to take, he notices on the television, a breaking news story, that sets up the entire novel.
We go back to Tennessee when Charlie was a boy living in a poor section of Nashville. His mother fed up of how he is being bullied gets his son a scholarship to a prominent private school where this will forever change the trajectory of his and his mother’s life. Charlie meets a core groups of friends Archer, Jamie and Vanessa who will come in out of his life many times.
I really don’t want to give much of this story, I just want you to immerse yourselves in Tarkington’s writing. I do not tend to highlight or take notes while reading, butI found myself highlighting so many passages. Tarkington writes lush descriptions and insights of the town and the characters of this story. It was lovely to spend time in this world that the author created. I highly recommend this book, I don’t think you will regret this.
Thank you Algonquin for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.