A Review of The Privileges by Jonathan Dee


Reading Johnathan Dee’s The Privileges belongs on your summer bucket list.

Kristin Kennedy, Writer

The Privileges by Jonathan Dee is a compelling addition to Darien High School’s library of books to assign to students. Some eleventh graders in AP Lang recently read the novel which was winner of the 2011 Prix Fitzgerald and the St. Francis College Literary Prize.

The novel was advertised as being relatable to Darien High School students, but it mainly describes the lives of Adam and Cynthia Morey, parents of Jonas and April Morey. Adam and Cynthia are pioneers in their friend group, and the perfect couple gets married at a very young age, with Cynthia becoming pregnant shortly after. As years go by, Cynthia struggles to wait for the future: the future with an abundance of wealth and happiness. As her patience wears thin, Adam does what he deems necessary to speed it up. Time is one of the many interesting elements to the plot. Differing views of time motivate or discourage characters when looking into the future, and it is a driving factor in the unethical decisions Adam makes to get money flowing into their bank accounts.The Morey family becomes a highly esteemed and well known family in New York City

The story also accounts for the young adult lives of their children, April and Jonas, and the ways in which each character handles the family’s wealth. What is interesting is that the family is described so attractively, probably as a means of distracting the reader from seeing through their artifice. The reader wants to like them, but their lives are too abnormal to see them as real people and the reader can’t help but to criticize.

The Privileges is pretty unlike any other book from English class as it is current. This makes it more fun to read and much easier to fully understand it. I would recommend the book for anyone, but especially as an end of the year read in an English class.