Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: September 1985
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
You save: $2.96 (19%)
In his newest novel Louis Auchincloss explores the circumstances under which America's "best and brightest," or at least richest and most socially secure, came to such grief over the moral issues of our time. Chip Benedict appeared to have the best of everything: wealth, education, good looks, charm, and intelligence. Shortly before entering law school, he married Alida, a pale beauty with the slinky attractiveness of the day. But Alida had more than physical beauty. She had the cunning and talent to become the debutante of the year, thereby escaping the progressively threadbare world of tarnished elegance and unpaid bills to which she was born. Alida's life continued in a storybook fashion with her marriage to Chip, a seemingly perfect and certainly honorable man. Called to serve in World War II, he returned a hero, decorated for bravery at the Normandy landing. Following in his father's footsteps, he became chairman of the board of the prestigious Benedict Glass Company founded by his grandfather. And yet, with all of his gifts, Chip is haunted by dark guilt that drives him to excel, conform, and embrace a righteousness that he fails to perceive as hypocrisy. In business he becomes the perfect corporate executive: forward-looking, ambitious, lauded in Fortune 2nd Forbes. Chip serves his community, supports the arts, and patriotically honors his government. But when it comes to choosing sides on the issue of Vietnam, he makes a decision that casts aside the deepest ties and loyalties of his life. How Chip Benedict comes to terms with himself and with those whose lives are entwined with his leads to an ending filled with irony that will keep the reader speculating long after the book is closed.