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Summary

For fans of Rules of Civility and The Marriage Plot, Joanna Hershon’s A Dual Inheritance is an engrossing novel of passion, friendship, betrayal, and class - and their reverberations across generations.

Autumn 1962: Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley meet in their final year at Harvard. Ed is far removed from Hugh’s privileged upbringing as a Boston Brahmin, yet his drive and ambition outpace Hugh’s ambivalence about his own life. These two young men form an unlikely friendship, bolstered by a fierce shared desire to transcend their circumstances. But in just a few short years, not only do their paths diverge - one rising on Wall Street, the other becoming a kind of global humanitarian - but their friendship ends abruptly, with only one of them understanding why.

Can a friendship define your view of the world? Spanning from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the present-day stock market collapse, with locations as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Boston, Shenzhen, and Fishers Island, A Dual Inheritance asks this question, as it follows not only these two men, but the complicated women in their vastly different lives. And as Ed and Hugh grow farther and farther apart, they remain uniquely - even surprisingly - connected.

©2013 Joanna Hershon (P)2013 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"Sharply observed and masterfully constructed, Hershon’s fourth novel is her strongest yet, a deft and assured examination of ambition, envy, longing, and kinship." (Booklist)
"Hershon deftly explores how individuals often sabotage their chances for happiness.... The characters in this novel are fully realized, the story moves along at a fast pace, and the author is well informed about her subject. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"A Dual Inheritance is a big, captivating, multigenerational sweep of a romance, ranging from Africa to China to New England’s blue-blooded enclaves. With deftness and swagger, Joanna Hershon spins the intertwining of two Harvard men’s lives into a searching exploration of class and destiny in late-20th-century America." (Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad)

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