This excellent, fast-paced novel, which won the Barbara Kingsolver Pen Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, tells its larger story of government and financial corruption through engaging, unique characters. In this twisty tale, the reader experiences how easy it is for a moral individual to become a cog in a corrupt organization's schemes. And how quickly that same individual can become a victim the Powerful want to destroy.
The main characters are Ethan, a "quant" who writes
software to make billions for his Wall Street firm without adding any
value to society, and Jessica, a US Army sergeant who remotely pilots
war drones that drop bombs on Somalia. The book moves back and forth
between their stories, all the while maintaining your fascination with
both. Wall Street and the US Army drone program would be interesting
enough settings on their own, but the plots expand to include the
international art world, the US prison system, the Nevada desert, a
dysfunctional wealthy family, an aging hippy couple, and more. The
author navigates these diverse worlds with ease. Each character, place
and situation is believable, interesting, and memorable.
recommend this superbly written book. At little more than 300 pages,
it's a swift, engrossing read that leaves you thinking about the real
issue that faces us all: if an individual can't change a corrupt system,
how do they live a moral life?