Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel [in Library Journal]
Once upon a time, Fern and Edgar were impoverished young rebels in love, proving their independence from the vast wealth of their respective families. Eventually, as their own children arrived, they settled into their roles as a “son and daughter of ease and plenty” in a Cambridge, MA, home with a summer place on Martha’s Vineyard.
Shockingly, after the death of Fern’s wealthy parents, it all vanishes. She learns that all the family’s old money has been given to others. Edgar, after eschewing his parents’ so-new-as-to-be-almost-vulgar riches, has let Fern’s funds quietly support their young family. Suddenly untethered, Edgar breaks his marital bonds and ends up sailing toward Bermuda; Fern’s response is to road trip with a giant searching for his estranged son. The peripatetic pair’s three young children are unwittingly abandoned to face a mythic backyard adventure.
Verdict: Narrator Elisabeth Rodgers takes Ramona Ausubel’s witty tragicomedy with a healthy dose of Schadenfreude and adds the perfect hint of surprise, as if she has a single eyebrow playfully cocked upward in partial disbelief. Thanks to Rodgers’s enchanting reading, this charmed summer bestseller is sure to engage all-season audiences as well.