Friday, May 30, 2014

The Heiresses by Sara Shephard

Author: Sara Shephard
Publisher: Harper
Date of publication: May 2014

You know the Saybrooks. Everyone does. Perhaps you’ve read a profile of them in People or have seen their pictures in the society pages of Vogue. Perhaps while walking along that choice block on Fifth Avenue, you’ve been tempted to enter the ornate limestone building with their family name etched into the pediment above the door.

The only thing more flawless than a Saybrook’s diamond solitaire is the family behind the jewelry empire. Beauties, entrepreneurs, debutantes, and style mavens, they are the epitome of New York City’s high society. But being a Saybrook comes at a price—they are heirs not only to a dizzying fortune but also to a decades-old family curse.
Tragedy strikes the prominent family yet again when thirty-four-year-old Poppy, the most exquisite Saybrook of them all, flings herself from the window of her TriBeCa office. Everyone is shocked that a woman who had it all would end her own life. Then her cousins receive an ominous threat: one heiress down, four to go.

Was it suicide . . . or murder? In the aftermath of the tragedy, the remaining heiresses—Corinne, the perfectionist; Rowan, the workaholic; Aster, the hedonist; and Natasha, the enigma—wrestle with feelings of sadness, guilt, and, most of all, fear. Now they must uncover the truth about their family before they lose the only thing money can’t buy: their lives.

I was really interested in reading The Heiresses because I will admit to being a fan of Pretty Little Liars on TV.  I haven't read the series, but love the show.  So, when I saw that the author was coming out with an adult series, I had to give it a try.  Honestly, I'm still trying to decide if I liked the book or not.  

None of the characters were particularly likable.  I lost respect for most of them within the first half of the book.  Does no one stay faithful anymore?  I was kind of put off by the amount of infidelity that ran through this crowd.  I was a bit disappointed that the author felt she had to go that route with just about everyone. I think the only character that I really ended up liking was Aster.  She was the most changed by the end of the book. 

The other disappointment for me was the feeling throughout the book that I had spent time with these characters before.  In essence, I had while watching every episode of PLL.  The "heiresses" are essentially adult versions of the teens on PLLs.  Oh, there are differences yes, but I really felt like at the heart they were the same women.   Then there is also the similarity to Gossip Girl with the website. So, the lack of originality was a let down.

Ignoring all of the disappointments, I did like the mystery part of the book.  There are several suspects and several "red herrings", so it was hard to guess all of the truths.  That part was fun in trying to figure out what was important and what wasn't.  The solution(s) were a surprise, so the author gets points for that.  

This is supposed to be the first in a series.  Honestly, I would have been happy to see this be a stand alone.  I felt satisfied with the ending before the "one year later" epilogue that ended of with a cliff hanger and opening for the next book.  Will I continue?  Probably, if only to see whose body was found.  

About the author:

Sara Shepard graduated from New York University and has an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College. The author of the bestselling young adult books Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game, as well as the adult novel The Visibles, she lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and dogs.

Visit her website at and follow her on Twitter, @sarabooks.

Sara’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, May 20th: Mystery Playground
Wednesday, May 21st: The Gilmore Guide to Books
Friday, May 23rd: Write Meg
Monday, May 26th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, May 27th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, May 28th: From L.A. to LA
Thursday, May 29th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, May 30th: My Bookshelf
Monday, June 2nd: Excellent Library
Tuesday, June 3rd: Stephany Writes
Wednesday, June 4th: Bibliophilia, Please
Thursday, June 5th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, June 9th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, June 10th: Book-alicious Mama
Thursday, June 12th: A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, June 16th: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, June 17th: cupcake’s book cupboard
Wednesday, June 18th: Books à la Mode
Wednesday, June 18th: Great Imaginations

Thursday, June 19th: Books in the Burbs


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

The Gilmore Guide to Books said...

Glad to see that someone else had somewhat of the same feelings that I did about the book. It was catchy, a fast read but felt a little bit formulaic- as if Shepard was writing the forthcoming script at the same time as the novel.