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“Real poverty is about doing what you have to do as opposed to what you want.”

Purchase on Amazon! $11Kindle | $11 Paperback

Published: June 20, 2017
Pages: 432
My Copy Came From: My Audible monthly subscription
Read Via: Audiobook
My Like Level: 1 out of 5 (SO DISAPPOINTING!)

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Book Synopsis From Amazon:

With dry wit and psychological acuity, this near-future novel explores the aftershocks of an economically devastating U.S. sovereign debt default on four generations of a once-prosperous American family. Down-to-earth and perfectly realistic in scale, this is not an over-the-top Blade Runner tale. It is not science fiction.

In 2029, the United States is engaged in a bloodless world war that will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Overnight, on the international currency exchange, the “almighty dollar” plummets in value, to be replaced by a new global currency, the “bancor.” In retaliation, the president declares that America will default on its loans. “Deadbeat Nation” being unable to borrow, the government prints money to cover its bills. What little remains to savers is rapidly eaten away by runaway inflation.

The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their ninety-seven-year-old patriarch dies. Once the inheritance turns to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also—as the U.S. economy spirals into dysfunction—the challenge of sheer survival.

Recently affluent, Avery is petulant that she can’t buy olive oil, while her sister, Florence, absorbs strays into her cramped household. An expat author, their aunt, Nollie, returns from abroad at seventy-three to a country that’s unrecognizable. Her brother, Carter, fumes at caring for their demented stepmother, now that an assisted living facility isn’t affordable. Only Florence’s oddball teenage son, Willing, an economics autodidact, will save this formerly august American family from the streets.

The Mandibles is about money. Thus it is necessarily about bitterness, rivalry, and selfishness—but also about surreal generosity, sacrifice, and transformative adaptation to changing circumstances.

My Thoughts:

Ugh. I am so disappointed. This book has been on my want to read list for over a year. It takes a lot for me to ignore my advanced reader copies in order to read a book on my want to read list. So when I decided to choose a book on my book list, I was super excited to finally read this. I chose to read it via audio book so that I would be able read it quickly. It’s much easier these days with two kids and a job in real estate to listen to a book versus finding the time to sit down and read. Almost from the very beginning of this book, I was not feeling it. I had to re-listen to the first couple of chapters TWICE! The only parts I enjoyed were details provided about the global collapse of money as we know it. I was shocked and intrigued at the Presidents decision to recall all gold in order to pay off the US’s debt and to do a mandatory house to house search for any gold not turned in. How interesting right!? So many questions arose as I read that. Like how could they possible get all of it? Couldn’t people easily hide it? Unfortunately, this was about the only time I was engaged in the story. To be quite honest, I began skipping large portions of the book to try and get to the end. Then, in the end I never even finished reading it. There was just something I couldn’t connect to in this book. I am going to read through some reviews after writing this just so I can see the other sides perspective. I want to know how it ended, and what the people who loved it found so interesting about the story. Not all books are winners in my eyes, just like not all books I consider winners are other peoples cups of tea. Just yesterday, my Dad finished a book I recommend which I loved and he absolutely hated. It is what it is! 🙂 Reading is a solo and very subjective hobby.

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