“At that time, it felt as though every deal were doomed to collapse before I’d had the chance to collect my commission. We had already weathered a few months of the economic crisi. Some people were putting a better face on it than others, but one way or another all our lives had changed – or were about to change.”
Behind the gates of the luxurious estates of Cascade Heights live successful businessmen and their wives and children. They have escaped the hustle of Buenos Aires to live in a place where the children can go to the top schools to learn English, the husbands can enjoy the golf course on the weekends and the wives can throw fancy parties.
It’s an ideal life that everyone wants but one that is becoming harder and harder to keep up with as the country is facing a financial crisis.
As the story opens three men lie at the botom of a swimming pool. To explain the tragedy, the story is told mainly through Virginia’s viewpoint. She also lives in Cascade Heights, has a real estate business and has her share of family struggles. Virginia recounts how some of the couples came to live in the Heights and we see that behind the facade of wealth and success every couple hides something. Problematic children, spouse abuse, infidelities, etc., and as the years go by problems deepen and more cracks begin to reveal the truth behind the mansions.
What is perhaps more jarring about the story is the lack of awareness the coules have not just about themselves and their community, but of those members of society who are not in their circle. The wives talk of having fundraisers for the underprivileged but they seem to completely ignore the surrounding community of less affluent people and don’t seem to think twice about what the lives of their maids, gardeners, and other service workers may be like away from their jobs.
A sharp narrative of what keeping up with the Joneses can do to people. The lengths they will go for appearance’s sake not even caring what it is doing to them or wondering if that even makes them happy. A very engaging story I really recommend.