Trust by Hernan Diaz is everything I want in a historical fiction novel. And it’s no wonder the book landed on so many “best of 2022.” Diaz writes from four interconnected points of view while telling the story of a financial wizard and philanthropist. Set in the run-up to the 1929 stock market crash and a later time period, Diaz examines the inevitable spin doctoring of celebrity.
Trust is structurally unique. Each perspective is told in a complete story instead of interspersing each perspective throughout the novel. So it reads like four connected novellas. But all the details are evident only when the last story is complete. Each layer offers new questions and a refined sense of the “truth.”
Additionally, Diaz skewers the rich and powerful with glee. Despite the difference from today’s period, Diaz makes entirely valid arguments for our century.
I listened to the audiobook, precisely narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, Jonathan Davis, Mozhan Marno, and Orlagh Cassidy. Their voices and skilled work add to the story’s nuances. However, I’d like to revisit Trust via the printed work. Generally, I don’t read books a second time, but Diaz’s work is worth another look.
Pair with another historical fiction work by a person of color who offers social commentary along with the story. Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace is a perfect example of this style.