Sunday, August 7, 2022

Trust by Hernan Diaz


Andrew Bevel is a enormously wealthy man, one of the first to become a billionaire in the stock market.  He is also extremely reclusive, interested in not much more than his work.  Society is intrigued with him due to the scarcity of his public appearances and his wealth.  All are amazed when he marries a young woman who has just returned to the United States after years abroad.  The two seem to have a successful marriage as both are introverted.

Bevel's story is told from three viewpoints.  Harold Vanner, a formerly successful author, has the idea of writing Bevel's life from what he knows and can make up.  His book is a success although Bevel is enraged both at the public revealing of his life and the errors he sees in the book.  He is angry enough that he hires a woman to write his autobiography with him, giving nothing but the truth which he feels will show Vanner as a false writer and ruin his career.  Finally, the woman who he hires finds the journals of Bevel's wife, which reveals the story as totally turned around from what either man has written.

This book has been nominated for the Booker Prize this year.  It explores whether any of our truths are valid or if the alternating viewpoints of others cancel our own views.  As I started this book, I wondered why it had been nominated.  The book was interesting but didn't seem that different from any other historical fiction.  But by the end, as I read all three accounts of Bevel's life, the idea of what is valid and the reality that events are viewed very differently by each individual made this novel a stunning accomplishment.  This book is recommended for literary fiction readers.

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