by Hernan Diaz
2022 / (415 pages)
read by Eduardo Ballerini and 5 more
rating 9.5 / historical fiction
(I will be rereading this)
“Trust” is a small word but very large as a theme. There’s the noun which has to do with financial instruments and there’s the verb which is about a relationship between one person and another, an object like a car, or a financial institution or a memoir. Diaz does not belabor the word but it’s used in several contexts throughout the novel. It’s one of several themes including “who you trust” to add a good measure of tension.
Yes, it’s a family saga, of sorts, but with twists, and in some ways is not too far removed from what Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead presented the reader.
The history includes the financial/economic history of the US between the two World Wars and using time jumps to change eras. There are only 3 main characters with just a few minor ones. In some ways it could be seen as a feminist novel.
I don’t want to say anymore out of respect for the possibility of a spoiler but I will say that there is a novel within a novel here and virtually no one is reliable, but there does seem one narrator we can “trust.”