From the critically-acclaimed author of Absolution comes a nail-biting story of the utter failure of the American dream, and the greatest fears that lurk in every one of us.
Poplar Farm is being carved up; a mini-massacre replicating the destruction of lives and societies taking place all over America. When the developer is driven insane by the failure of his artistic vision, Julia and Nathaniel arrive from Chicago and buy up the home in a foreclosure sale. They move into the half-finished house, yet violence lies just beneath the surface of this land, and simmers deep within Nathaniel.
My initial good intentions in returning to some bang up to date fiction were quickly flattened by long prosaic interludes that have a striking parallel with Jonathan Franzen. “That good,” might be the first reaction to this assessment ,“That disappointing” however is the truth of the matter. The denouement of the 2008 crisis is that a local builder who over stretches himself decides to live in an underground bunker and watch the ‘striving’ family who take over his property go about their mundane daily lives. Interspersed with the sort of cod middle class psychology that has so thoroughly permeated Franzen’s narrative I quickly tired of the back and forth bickering of the family dressed up as meaningful progression and found that I wanted to shut it off. Shut if off I didn’t - but I was relieved to shut the book after struggling through to a less than satisfactory ending.