He also had schizophrenia.
This book tries to do and be a lot of things. It's an analysis of the super-rich of New England and how their closed circles hide a lot of problems. It's about first impressions and second impressions and finding yourself. It's about mental wellness and the coping period that sometimes comes with finding out that you have a mental illness. It's about how society fails those with mental illness again and again with insufficient resources and crumbling infrastructure.
Obviously, these are pretty weighty subjects to handle and I do think the book does it mostly well. The author's writing style actually reminded me a lot of Sarah Dessen, who wrote a lot of stories with unlikable but relatable heroines that explored changing family dynamics, coming of age, and claustrophobic communities. I think I probably would have enjoyed this book a lot more as a teen, because of that. On the note of mental health, I think the author handles the subject of schizophrenia respectfully while trying to portray someone who does not cope well (without sensationalizing it).
I do wish it hadn't had the romance squeezed in. It felt superfluous and detracted from the main storyline. I also didn't really like that the heroine was lusting after him when he had a girlfriend. I know this happens IRL, but in this case, it just felt like pointless OW drama.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars