A beautifully wrought story of an ad hoc family and the crisis they must overcome together.
Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways - in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart - the renters struggle to navigate daily existence and soon come to realize that Edith's deteriorating mind and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, are the greatest challenges they must confront together.
Faced with eviction by Owen and his designs on the building, the tenants - Paulie, an unusually disabled man, and his burdened sister, Claudia; Edward, a misanthropic stand-up comic; Adeleine, a beautiful agoraphobe; and Thomas, a young artist recovering from a stroke - must find in one another what the world has not yet offered or has taken from them: family, respite, security, worth, love.
The threat to their home scatters them far from where they've begun, to an ascetic commune in Northern California, the motel rooms of depressed middle America, and a stunning natural phenomenon in Tennessee, endangering their lives and their visions of themselves along the way.
With humanity, humor, grace, and striking prose, Kathleen Alcott portrays these unforgettable characters in their search for connection, for a life worth living, for home.
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A literary feast
Christa Lewis' narration is superb.
The luscious figurative language and fascinating characters; all of the residents of the building are intricately drawn.
Christa Lewis' narration was a perfect fit for the book. Her smooth delivery takes you through descriptions and inner lives of the characters with a fluidity that allows the listener to savor the story.
I will be listening to other books by both the author and the narrator.
- Rosemary Benson
More believable, likeable characters.
Not a big problem with the performance--just felt as if the story droned on and on.
Her written language is beautiful. It was the story and characters that were so tedious.
- TheDallesmbt "Say something about yourself!"