This novel examines the ambitions of Adam and Cynthia Morey, who ascend from the middle class into the realm of the wealthy–thanks, in no small part, to Adam’s adventures in insider trading. The Moreys are narcissistic, shallow, and materialistic, but somehow compelling in their shameless grand devotion to vice. Yet the characters never become caricatures. Despite all their flaws, the Moreys remain loyal to each other as a family. Adam and Cynthia both have opportunities to cheat on each other, but choose not to. Cynthia is a caring mother, not only to her own children but also to her daughter’s troubled best friend. (I found these to be surprisingly touching developments; dysfunction is in vogue as a literary subject, and it was nice to read about a fictional family that actually stays together.) The Privileges is at once entertaining, unsettling, and beautifully written, making for an enjoyable and memorable read.