Asylum. Ayelet Waldman’s new novel, Red Hook Road, almost demands discussion among members of a book club. Dramatic action begins with a tragedy: bride and groom are killed in an auto accident on their way to the wedding reception. Married less than hour, and killed off at the beginning of the novel, their lives and relationship provide the grist for the other characters, especially for their mothers, Iris and Jane. Set in Maine, the contrast between the two families is intense: summer versus year-round; blue versus white collar; well-off or getting by. A single misstep changes all their lives, their expectations, their dreams and their obligations. Each character seeks some form of refuge or asylum from their pain and suffering, some way to get through the physical and mental storms. Waldman’s writing is powerful and intense, the characters are well-developed, the plot fast-moving, and the descriptive language brings each setting to life.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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