Sons ad Daughters of East and Plenty

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty
Ramona Ausubel

Riverhead Books

Fern and Edgar come from serious money. In Fern’s case it’s old money, dating back to the trade in slaves and rum.

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“. . . a literary road-trip told with lyrical flair and deep understanding of the human condition.”

Edgar’s father is a steel industry magnate, and he wants his son to inherit the family concern – the last thing Edgar desires. Edgar and Fern live an idyllic lifestyle in Martha’s Vineyard, where Fern tries to cook and look after their three children while Edgar sails and tries to avoid the guilt he feels from having so much unearned money. 

A day like any other arrives with an earth-shattering announcement from Fern’s family lawyer: The money is gone. The family faces having to sell their beloved holiday home – or submit to Edgar’s father’s threat to drag him back into the steel industry. What follows is a breakdown of the family unit. Edgar begins an affair with the beautiful Glory, another child of riches with a guilty conscience, and he sails away with her to Mexico. Out of retaliation Fern decides to chance a prolonged coast-to-coast road trip with a complete stranger, the friendly giant Mac. All unwittingly their children are left to their own devices, the parents’ shoes being filled by their capable and inventive nine-year-old daughter, Cricket. Cricket is forced to grow up fast – but so are her parents.

Told in flashbacks through the days of Fern and Edgar’s childhood, college days and military service to their present in 1976, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty is a literary road-trip told with lyrical flair and deep understanding of the human condition.

Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews