Good Rich People
Good, Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier is a unique twist on a classic thriller theme. Eat the rich, before they eat you.
All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.
Lyla has always believed that life is a game she is destined to win, but her husband, Graham, takes the game to dangerous levels. The wealthy couple invites self-made success stories to live in their guesthouse and then conspires to ruin their lives. After all, there is nothing worse than a bootstrapper.Demi has always felt like the odds were stacked against her. At the end of her rope, she seizes a risky opportunity to take over another person’s life and unwittingly becomes the subject of the upstairs couple’s wicked entertainment. But Demi has been struggling all her life, and she’s not about to go down without a fight.In a twist that neither woman sees coming, the game quickly devolves into chaos and rockets toward an explosive conclusion.Because every good rich person knows: in money and in life, it’s winner take all. Even if you have to leave a few bodies behind.
“My relationship with Graham has always been a throuple: me, Graham and boredom.”
This book genuinely took me by surprise. Generally, a book that focuses on the rich can make me feel frustrated. Their privilege and lack of recognition of it makes me more angry than happy to read, and I wasn’t sure what more to expect with this one. However, despite there being moments of that feeling, this book also left me feeling vindicated. The two perspective story that crossed over one another- giving you pieces of the plot you thought you already read from another’s perspective, was very unique. I think that this kept the book grounded in the reality that most of us exist in, instead of too drowned out by rich privilege.
“He’s like a predator I have caught, a monster I can hold in my hands.”
Lyla is an interesting character because while she comes from money, it’s a different level of privilege than her husband. Because of this, she is inherently insecure and constantly trying to keep his attention. This isn’t necessarily something we would expect from someone of her privilege, so seeing inside her mind during this was unique. By contrast, Demi has no history of privilege, her part of the story starting with her being homeless. Unlike Lyla, she is still relatively more confident, and because of her life, wittier. This allows for a strange relationship between the two women as they inevitably both play a strange game for Graham’s attention.
I don’t believe that the disadvantaged can “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”; they’re born without boots.
The pacing of this book was quick, but like with most thrillers, not perfect. There were moments when conversations or interactions didn’t need to be shown. Events were drawn out. This made me, at one point, put the book down with minimal interest in picking it back up again. The pacing is one of two reasons why this didn’t become a five-star read for me. The second reason is that as expected, there were no consequences for the rich. I recognize that this book makes you genuinely think about the different levels of financial privilege, but the rich experiencing no genuine consequences made me angry. There was an opportunity for it, and it could have been plotted, giving us some vindication. However, our author opted out of that option, and the people who were punished perhaps didn’t deserve it at all.
Either the whole world is out to get me or my husband is.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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