It is a book full of bad decisions by most of the characters--Amber is probably the exception, I can't really think of her bad decisions other than maybe being a little cold & aloof to some around her. Others though like her mom a drunk that for years couldn't function and much less raise her children. Max the father having a very public mistress and dividing his time between two families & then being surprised when both families are screwed up. Amber's brother is a druggie, kicked out of high school and pretty much forgotten for large segments of his life by everyone around him. Becky one of the 3 girls, makes bad decision after bad decision and really shows no ability at growth or understanding throughout the book. Madeleine has a long relationship with a married man and falls apart when he dies, she does gain strength later though but still other issues are there.
Africa is another theme throughout the book. Amber marries a black African of a prominent political family who by the end her husband moves into the presidency of his country. Becky moves to Mozambique where there is the screwed up white oligarchs still and gets caught up there trying to start a business. Obviously it ends bad with her being raped and nearly killed. Poala the half sister is basically forced into marrying an older German who has a large tourist hotel/resort in Nambia. This marriage ends bad too. I enjoyed the discussion of Africa in the book though simply because it seems in what I read Africa just doesn't come up that much.
I enjoyed the book overall but not a great read either. I might check out other books by this author but am not charging out to do so right away either. Not sure it that makes sense but there it is. I have already posted it on PBS, there were no copies of this edition but there are copies of other editions already posted. I am not expecting it to move very fast but you never know either.