Claire Messud's novel The Emperor's Children (2006) focuses on the stories of three friends (Danielle, Marina, and Julius) in their early thirties living in Manhattan in New York in the months leading up to the devastating attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001. Each of the three is well-educated and well-off, but they each struggle with realizing the lofty expectations for their individual personal and professional lives.
Upon release, the novel was met with widespread critical acclaim. It was named one of the ten best books by The New York Times one of the top ten books of 2006 and received the 2007 Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction. Additionally, the book was Messud's first bestseller and was longlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. In short, the novel was a critical darling.
The book is also being currently adapted into a film by Lake Bell and is set to star Keira Knightley, Eric Bana, and Richard Gere. No release date has yet to be set, but it appears at the time of writing that the film will not happen. It's safe to say that, given the prestigious awards, Claire Messud's most popular - and perhaps overall best - novel is The Emperor's Children.