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This Beautiful Life Bets On...

This Beautiful Life

August 2011

THIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE by Helen Schulman is a haunting novel about what happens to a family when a 15-year-old boy gets an inappropriate video from a young girl he knows --- and forwards it on. This seemingly small action snowballs, and suddenly two kids are fodder for the tabloids in a story that will not go away. In the world as we know it now, stories go viral, the Internet has its own fingerprints, and visual memories are a mere click away.

The Bergamots live in Manhattan enjoying a family life they’ve created and filled with all the trappings of success --- a corporate job for dad, a lovely apartment, a Riverdale private school. The perfect life. A beautiful life. Until a single action unravels their world and puts it all at risk. Suddenly dad is asked to take a leave from his new job at a prestigious university, Jake ends up expelled from school, adopted daughter Coco wonders what’s going on, and Liz struggles to hold her fractured family together. And we see this family for what they really are --- folks trying very hard to make and keep a beautiful life that’s fracturing pretty quickly.

Schulman’s writing is so real and her prose is so tight that this is both a quick read and a lasting one. When I finished, I felt like I knew Liz, maybe because we all know women like her who are working hard each day to make a beautiful life. By the way, be sure to read to the end as the wrap in the epilogue alone is worth a discussion.

This Beautiful Life
by Helen Schulman

  • Publication Date: August 2, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper
  • ISBN-10: 0062024388
  • ISBN-13: 9780062024381