‘Accomplished…a strangely mesmerising effect…absolutely excellent’
New York, 1980s
Alice Burns – a young book editor – is deep into a manuscript about the morass of family life. The observations within resonate, perhaps, because she has just watched her own family implode.
As she reads she wonders: When did the sadness start? And could it be that unhappiness is a choice?
Thus begins a great American epic which follows Alice as she navigates high school, first love and sexism at an elite college, a spell in 1970s Ireland, and a tragedy that sends her stateside as the US embraces a cowboy actor named Reagan.
But it is also the tale of her endlessly complex parents and brothers – how their destinies are written by the lies they tell themselves and others.
The Great Wide Open is an immensely ambitious and compulsive saga; a novel which will speak volumes to anyone who has marvelled at that pain that can only be caused by family itself.
This novel is a page-turner with a relentless pace
Has a strangely mesmerising effect . . . absolutely excellent.
Kennedy is skilled at zigzag plotting, blending domestic twists with turns created by global affairs.
An ambitious tale from a reliably compelling story teller.
Douglas Kennedy sensitively engages with issues that still affect America to this day and creates a story with realism and heart