It has been five years since famed artist Lowell Haven painted one of his gloriously narcissistic self portraits. The estrangement of his daughter, Merit, is the main reason why. Now Lowell's partner Fergus hopes to lure Merit home by throwing an extravagant gala at the family's 65-room estate in Ohio.
©2005 Adrienne Miller; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
"The novel builds to a party that reunites the family, with disastrous and hilarious results. Literary-fiction aficionados should take note of this deft comic novel." (Booklist)
"Splendidly realized characters....Miller is a gifted ventriloquist." (Chicago Tribune)
I cannot figure out if I really like this book or not. All of the characters are so flawed, it actually reeks of reality. The narration was excellent as the three different narrators combined so well.
Do Not. Waste. Your. Money.
I know this type of fiction is huge right now, and it bugs me. Characters with no context. Who are these people and why should I care about them? Where do they live? Where, if anywhere, do they work? What do they wear? What do their families do? Even more basic, what do they even look like? Of course, this is trendy fiction and of the moment and none of that matters...
I know this all is supposed to come out "later" in the novel, as part of the process but somehow "later" never arrives, and the story, though a toney picaresque, the literary equivalent of a painting by 16th century Hieronymus Bosch, just is not that interesting. It is, in fact, tiresome.
The author has a gift for dialogue, and for first names that sound like brand names, and the end section with the interview illuminates some of the plot lines of the novel, but seriously you need the Cliff Notes for this one. The writer seems to be a rational and sane human so why does she deconstruct in her novel?
Oh, I get it. She traded her "Northeast Ohio" roots for an elitist life in New York, writing fashionable fiction. But seriously, woman, to go with those MB's (Manolo Blahniks)? Get a story line.
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