The Red House is a dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family, from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
The set-up of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over.
But because of Haddon's extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but simple. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, The Red House becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly-guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt. As we come to know each character they become profoundly real to us. We understand them, even as we come to realize they will never fully understand each other, which is the tragicomedy of every family.
The Red House is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner - a novel sure to entrance the millions of fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
©2012 Mark Haddon (P)2012 Random House Audio
After hearing Mark Haddon interviewed on NPR, I looked forward to hearing this book. My hopes were high for a slam-dunk repeat of his Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, but they were dashed. Maybe Curious Incident was just too hard an act to follow. The plot of Red House is the mechanism in which the secrets of a family are revealed. And yes, there were some redemptions and some insights, it wasn't enough to give it more stars
I could not stay focused on this story. It was like trying to listen to the insane internal ramblins of several people all at once. UGH! To bad because I am a big fan of "The curious incident of the dog in the night" by Mark Haddon and i was so looking forward to another story by him.
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