From the author of the New York Times bestseller City on Fire
A Granta Best of Young American Novelist 2017
‘A young author of boundless and unflagging talents’ New York Times
We can all agree on this much, Marnie thought: nobody saw the Hungate divorce coming. In the privacy of her own mind, she saw them as the last of a dying breed, the Great American Family.
Two families – the Hungates and the Harrisons – live side by side in Long Island, New York. They lead charmed lives: good jobs in the city, weekends by the pool, cheerleading practice after school and backyard barbecues in the summer. But within these lives lie hundreds of little deceptions.
Told through a mix of photographs and words, this is a dazzlingly inventive depiction of two families falling apart and coming together and the thousand different truths of the American Dream.
This is a bit of a hidden gem, which reminded me of Leanne Shapton’s.
Evocative of masters of American suburbia such as Updike, Cheever, Salter and Richard Yates… Conjuring a dreamily filmic spell, with shades of American Beauty and The Ice Storm, this is a work that can be approached (and rediscovered) a number of ways, all equally rewarding. It’s an ideal coffee table or bedside companion, to be dipped into for flashes of pleasure.
A work of genuine brilliance, with Hallberg’s relentless gifts gleaming off every page.