This is my second novel from Emily St. John Mandel that I have read preceded by Station Eleven which was an interesting read but I was a little off-put by the voice and style of the author. I liked the backdrop for this book which is a Ponzi scheme that characters become enmeshed in.
And for the most part I liked the book. Oddly, the architect of the investment theft has his moment in the book and his story is the most affecting and filled with ghosts of memory. In fact, the people inside the scheme and that section of the book was by far the most gripping. The lead character though is a bit slack and not a story mover which may explain the flashbacks and forwards and the long character list. I also got the feeling that the books are of the same universe but because Station Eleven was set in post pandemic world that the timelines were muddy.
Because of the grift element, I would recommend either finding a ‘whale’ beer in your fridge or purchase a beer that is all hype. Not because I think that hyped beers are bad but because, this book makes you think of how people can be swindled and if you are in the mindset, you can judge the beer more by the contents than the cover.