Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and Longlisted for the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize
A Washington Post Notable Book of the Year
Named a Must-Read by Entertainment Weekly, Time, New York Observer, Time Out (New York), Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Travel + Leisure, and Paste Magazine
Cecilia Somnerís fate hangs in the balance. A larger-than-life heiress to a rubber baronís fortune, once known for her cruel wit as much as for her tremendous generosity, CeCe is now in opulent decline. Afflicted with a rare disease and touched by mortality for the first time, her gilded, bygone values collide with an unforgiving present. Along with her troubled son, George, and his outsider wife, Iris, CeCe must face the Somnersí dark legacy and the corrupting nature of wealth. As the Somner family struggles to find a solution to its troubles, the secrets and lies between CeCe, George, and Iris grow entangled. CeCeís world topples, culminating in a crime as unforgettable as it is unexpected.
While no riches can put things right for the unfortunate Somners, when all is lost, they learn what life beyond the long, shimmering shadow cast by the Somner dynasty may become. The Unfortunates, hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, is most of all a meditation on love: as delusional obsession, as transformation, and ultimately as a coming to grace.