The Red House

By Mark Haddon
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385535779, 272pp.)

Publication Date: June 12, 2012

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the June 2012 Indie Next List
“Haddon is a master craftsman, and one of the great delights of The Red House is the way he seamlessly weaves together a narrative from the perspectives of a number of extremely different individuals. Focusing on two families on a trip to the country -- each with their own issues and secrets -- and the interplay between characters, Haddon has given us another wonderful and surprising novel.”
-- Carol Schneck, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI


Description

An dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family, from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The set-up of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over.

But because of Haddon's extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but simple. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, The Red House becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly-guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt. As we come to know each character they become profoundly real to us. We understand them, even as we come to realize they will never fully understand each other, which is the tragicomedy of every family.

The Red House is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner -- a novel sure to entrance the millions of readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.




About the Author

MARK HADDON is the author of the international bestseller, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and the Whitbread Book of the Year award; and the New York Times bestseller A Spot of Bother. In addition to The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, a collection of poetry, Haddon has also written and illustrated numerous award-winning children's books and television screenplays.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. What role does the Welsh landscape play in The Red House? How might this story be different if it portrayed an American family? Where would you set the story and what points of American culture would you add?

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