I found The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud a bit of a disappointment. I think part of my problem with the book is the huge amount of hype it has received. It's not that it's a bad book - it was quite readable, but it's really just another novel about tedious 30ish New Yorkers who haven't achieved the great things they expected. The characters are predictable - Marina the beautiful, wealthy, vapid daughter of a literary lion Murray, Danielle the quirky smart artistic best friend, and Julius the poverty stricken gay guy who rounds out their trio. Messud offers up some interesting plot (and character) possibilities, but she doesn't really follow through with them. Murray's nephew Frederick insinuates himself into their lives, writes a damning article about his uncle and then literally disappears without his character having any of the impact on the others that the reader is led to expect. Messud also builds a sense of impending doom regarding the upcoming marriage of Marina and Ludo, an Australian journalist. Why the his serious interest in her father? Why the whirlwind romance? What is it that he really wants from her? Why do all of the characters other than Marina mistrust and dislike him? Then the whole situation fizzles out after the nuptuals and nothing happens. The section that really delivers is between Julius and his lover. I was constantly torn between enjoying Messud's writing and wondering why she wasn't delivering more.