Broken Fortune: A Novel


Broken Fortune explores the unraveling of a wealthy, blended family forced to reconsider their future together as their world falls apart around them. 

Elizabeth Sunderland—a forty-three-year-old wife and mother of two teenagers—is the oldest of five children in a blended family that never quite blended. The only thing that has held them together is the iron will of their wealthy parents: Benjamin Sunderland, a venture capitalist, and Kate Bernard, a partner of a hedge fund. Together, Benjamin and Kate create and rule over a Manhattan dynasty of which their children each bear their own unique scars.

Elizabeth has been trying to keep the family together since she was ten years old, hoping to convince everyone they have more in common than just their fortune. This stance will be put to the ultimate test when Kate dies with one final request: that the family travel together to the island of St. John and spread her ashes in the ocean. However, Kate’s plan to fix the family will involve more than just a family trip to the sea.

As the hidden secrets and quiet betrayals built up over thirty years begin to ripple and crash like the ocean surrounding the sinking family, Elizabeth not only faces each of her sibling’s personal inflection points—moments that could lead to reconciliation or ruin—but she has to face her own demons that have laid dormant. What happens next will shock Elizabeth into recognizing a reality she had no idea existed.

Broken Fortune by Aly Mennuti is a poignant portrait of one woman’s grief as she struggles to keep her family together in the aftermath of her step-mother’s death. Elizabeth is the eldest of five very different children, whose lives are forever intertwined when their parents remarry. From the beginning, it is clear that this is no ordinary family, and despite its glamour and dazzling wealth, it is ‘unhappy in its own way.’ Tolstoy is clearly an inspiration for this tender, perceptive tale exploring the circle of life and the family bonds that bind us. With all the drama and wit of Succession and set in exclusive Caribbean islands and lavish Manhattan penthouses, you’ll be swept up by this gorgeous tale. Mennuti’s characters are as real as your siblings. There’s a plot full of gasp-out-loud twists and turns. And you’ll be rooting for Elizabeth to embrace her new role as matriarch and get the happily-ever-after family she deserves.”–Chloe Esposito, Bestselling Author of the Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know trilogy

“When secrets bubbling away under the surface come back to threaten the present and undermine the future, Broken Fortune explodes into a smart, compelling page-turner that makes the reader question whether it is better to be inside a family looking out or outside looking in.”–Sam Blake, Bestselling Author of Three Little Birds and Mystery of Four 

“Epic, topical and painfully honest. One woman battles for love and basic human connection amidst a toxic blended family with extreme wealth. Ms. Mennuti’s deeply flawed characters sprinkled with reality-based comedy form the perfect recipe for a page turner. Broken Fortune simultaneously twisted my stomach and hooked me in. More please.”—Jenny Woodward, Author of Ninety Days without You

The fissures run deep in the not-so-well blended family Bernard-Sunderland family, and things are not entirely as they seem. When the children are brought together to scatter the ashes of the formidable family matriarch, the wealth, self-absorption, and resentments threaten to complete the job of ripping apart this already dysfunctional clan. Sharply written, incisive, tender and funny, Aly Mennuiti’s Broken Fortune is the literary love child of White Lotus and Succession, and the perfect summer read.–Susan Coll, Author of Bookish People