Vulnerable. Our lives can change in an instant. We are vulnerable to the twists of fate, and to the actions of others that can become tragic for all. Helen Schulman presents a contemporary tragedy in her novel, This Beautiful Life. The Bergamot family has relocated to Manhattan from Ithaca, New York, and they are adapting to their new environment. Fifteen-year old Jake opens an email from a girl at his private school, and in the message the girl appears nude and performs an erotic dance. After Jake forwards this message to a friend, the lives of the Bergamots are changed forever. The image on the book jacket summarizes the plot: there is a house of cards, and being vulnerable to falling apart, we are not surprised when it does. The Bergamots are not the average family, and none of the characters are particularly appealing, but the story of their vulnerability to tragedy can be the story of everyone.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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