July and August
July and August
By Nancy Clark
Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780375423291, 336pp.
Publication Date: June 10, 2008
From the acclaimed author of The Hills at Home comes this funny, bittersweet, wonderfully peopled family saga of beginnings and endings, couplings and uncouplings, of new friendships and old alliances.
Great-aunt Lily’s gracious pile of a house in Towne, Massachusetts, is the gathering place for her far-flung Yankee clan of grandnieces and grandnephews--all in town for the months of July and August--and with their arrival comes a high summer of comedy and drama. Brooks and Rollins, the uncommonly successful software entrepreneur brothers, turn the heads of the locals with their supermodel dates. Lily herself has made an unexpected success of a new business venture. Sally, the youngest of the clan, is having the time of her life with Cam, a charismatic Towne kid; between them they prove that in some corners of the world, children can still go out to play gloriously unsupervised and come home safely. Cousin Julie announces her wedding to a man no one has met, whose delayed arrival gives rise to a mystery. And in the single developing sorrow, the family faces the possibility of a final leave-taking by the once fiery Aunt Ginger, who continues to dish up crucial life wisdom (whether it’s sought or not) while reclining on a lawn chair in the sun.
As July and August unfurls, the cousins scheme and new romances and confidences bloom. Even Aunt Lily, who presides over it all with her hard-won equanimity, has secrets to divulge before the season is done. Throughout, Nancy Clark gives us a beautiful exploration of the ways that a family evolves over time--and the ways in which it remains the same--in this rich summer story of love lost and found.
Praise for The Hills at Home
(A New York Times Notable Book)
"Jane Austen is alive. What's more shocking, the grandmother of social satire has moved in with Jonathan Franzen, and the two of them have produced a love child called The Hills at Home... The wittiest family portrait in years."
--The Christian Science Monitor
"There's no averting one's eyes from Clark's story, which includes family intrigue, gossip, romance and, of course, more than a few gin and tonics."
"Like a jumbo-sized Shakespearean comedy... Leisurely in its pace and lavish in its detail, with a wit that ranges from arch to zany."
--The Seattle Times
Praise for A Way from Home
"Entertains from beginning to end... Clark is a superb storyteller."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Diamond-sharp social observation inspirits a literary romance."