Richard and Liz have the perfect life. They have recently moved to Manhattan with their two children - 15 year old Jake and their adopted daughter, Coco who is 6 years old. It could be said that they are living the American Dream. Both come from working class backgrounds but through hard work and a good education, they have steadily climbed the social ladder. Richard has just started a new, well paid job and is all set to move up the career ladder even further. Liz no longer has to work and spends her time just like the other wealthy mothers she meets - taking yoga classes, shopping, lunching and generally trying to fit in with the other mothers. Life changes, however, when a 13 year old girl emails a pornographic film of herself to Jake. Without even thinking about it, Jake forwards the email to his best friend, who forwards it to his friends, who forward it to their friends and so on, and so on. In no time at all, the email has gone round the world. With this simple click of a button, Liz and Richard find that their perfect life has imploded.
This is a cautionary tale for the age of the internet. It shows the inherent dangers of the internet and the absolute necessity of stopping and thinking before sending any email. Once you have sent it you cannot take it back.
My only criticism of this book is that I did not really warm to, or feel much empathy for, the characters of Richard and Liz who remained somewhat two-dimensional throughout. As a result I did not care very much about what happened to them. The story would have had greater impact if these characters had been developed further so that we sympathised with them to a greater degree. Jake, the teenage son, is a more rounded character. He is a typically angst ridden teenager and we do feel sorry for him. A second's thoughtlessness shatters his life in a way he could never have imagined.
On the whole I enjoyed the book and I am happy to recommend it.