Nuanced and compelling… Compulsively addictive.
Part family tale and part human drama, Wicks’s gripping latest is a compulsively readable story about familial bonds and the power of breaking free. George Leibnitz is intelligent and sharp but lacks the ruthless cunning, and single-minded drive of his father, Fritz Leibnitz, who heads the Leibnitz family’s vast global empire. Being the favored heir, George struggles between becoming his own person and the callous leader his family expects him to become. Meeting the fiercely independent M opens George to an entirely new world. But as old secrets, sinister conspiracies, and lurking dangers unravel, the couple struggle to find their way. Wicks’s characters are utterly convincing, drawing the reader into their problems, from trivial to grave. Wicks’s takes on George and M’s relationship is brutally honest, and her descriptions are evocative. The larger question of whether George’s choices will ultimately affect his relationship with M and his own happiness is answered on a positive note as George continues to overcome his confusion, becoming more assured and confident with the passage of time. But more than George, it’s M who has a challenging road—trying to find a balance between her job, studies, and the demands of her relationship with the Leibnitz family, she sees her own desires getting crushed and fears the loss of her individuality— but she rises to it with utmost grace and resilience. The sibling dynamic between the Leibnitzs is believable, and the family members are complex and delightfully flawed (even the long-gone elder Leibnitz, whose ruthless personality reverberates throughout the novel). Uncle Sergey doesn’t get much space in the story but leaves an impression nonetheless. Fritz Leibnitz, with all his flaws makes for an endearing antihero. The other characters are equally convincing, particularly, the tenacious, wise, and perceptive Aleksandra. The narrative that alternates between the Leibnitzs’ present lives and flashbacks from the past, revealing the many ways their pasts continue to affect their futures, add tension and depth to an intricate narrative that touches on identity issues, individual struggles, and the abuse of power and wealth. At the same time, Wicks skillfully weaves in themes of family ties, relationships, sibling rivalry, jealousy, rage, infidelity, and privilege. The solution in the end is satisfying without being sappy or cynical. Engrossing and unpredictable; Wicks makes a compelling argument for individuality and independence. This is a stunner.
Twisted Silver Spoons
By Karen M Wicks
Pub date August 10, 2021
Price $18.99 (USD) Paperback, $7.49 Kindle edition