Red Hook Road
By Ayelet Waldman
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385517867, 352pp.)
Publication Date: July 13, 2010
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As lyrical as a sonata, Ayelet Waldman’s follow-up novel to Love and Other Impossible Pursuits explores the aftermath of a family tragedy.
Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity.
A marriage collapses under the strain of a daughter’s death; two bereaved siblings find comfort in one another; and an adopted young girl breathes new life into her family with her prodigious talent for the violin. As she writes with obvious affection for these unforgettable characters, Ayelet Waldman skillfully interweaves life’s finer pleasures—music and literature—with the more mundane joys of living. Within these resonant pages, a vase filled with wildflowers or a cold beer on a hot summer day serve as constant reminders that it’s often the little things that make life so precious.
AYELET WALDMAN is the author of Daughter’s Keeper, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and the New York Times bestseller Bad Mother. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York, Elle, Vogue, and other publications, and on Salon.com. She and her husband, the novelist Michael Chabon, live in Berkeley, California, with their four children.
- Red Hook Road hinges upon an almost unimaginable and unfathomable tragedy. Was it easy or difficult for you to accept the book’s premise?
PRAISE FOR RED HOOK ROAD
"A thoroughly gripping and elegantly written story about love, grief, friendship, and the unexpected ways in which disaster brings families together. The novel is chockfull of revelations and insights on how people both unravel and manage to find grace under strain."
—Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
"This beautiful novel shows us how families cope with the most painful kinds of loss and reminds us that even as grief fractures, it can pave the way for unexpected grace."
—Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier
"Every day, families are shoved into new realities. Red Hook Road is a masterful imagining of the way a single tragic event impacts the psyches and behaviors and dynamics of two families. Waldman's writing is elegant and riveting."
—Kelly Corrigan, author of The Middle Place
"You won't be able to tear yourself away from Waldman's powerful evocation of grief."
"This engagingly complex examination of two close families is a leap ahead for the essayist and author."
—O, The Oprah Magazine
"[A] lyrical tale of love and loss... Waldman's startling premise--a newly married couple dies in an automobile accident en route to their reception--sets the scene for this searing, soul-searching examination of human emotions and reactions."
"Readers who enjoy family sagas will find this book a pleasure."
"A literary puzzle with rich intellectual and emotional rewards... Red Hook Road proves life and art are worth it."