I bought The Children by Ann Leary and finished it within days. This is not typical behavior for me because I usually read at night before bed and I’m often so tired that I can only get through a few pages. But Leary’s latest book kept me up way past my bedtime. I’ve already loaned my book out so I can’t post any quotes from pages I folded down that feature clever dialogue, wry humor, and compelling descriptions but I’ll link to an interview with the author on the Huffington Post.
Charlotte Maynard, the narrator, is a 29 year old recluse living in her family’s home on a lake in New England. The home belonged to her now deceased step-father Whit, and Charlotte lives there with her mother Joan, and the two have occasional visits from Charlotte’s talented but mentally unstable sister Sally, and two step-brothers. When one of the step-brothers brings his fiancee to the family home for a visit, the blended family’s seemingly perfect facade quickly crumbles.
I was first introduced to Ann Leary when I read her engaging book The Good House about a middle aged woman whose drinking causes her downfall. (It’s being developed into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro.) Leary is married to actor Dennis Leary and in an article in The New York Times she says her narrator’s struggle with alcoholism in The Good House was inspired by her own experiences.
For more summer reading ideas: Leary recommends these ten books set in New England.