The House on Eccles Road

The House on Eccles Road Cover

The House on Eccles Road

By Judith Kitchen

Graywolf Press, Hardcover, 9781555973681, 200pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2002


What if Molly took center stage in James Joyce's "Ulysses"? What if she lived in suburban America?

The House on Eccles Road

It is June 16, 1999, in Dublin, Ohio, and Molly wanders through her empty day while her husband, Leo, tends to a strict and busy professor's schedule. On the surface of her thoughts, Molly wonders: Will he remember their anniversary? And how many hints should she give him? As Molly and Leo circle each other throughout the day, Judith Kitchen illuminates the scope of Leo and Molly's life together detail by detail. Molly is offended by the hot June day, hums Irish tunes, considers an old love; Leo thinks about his star pupil, young girls at the tennis court, his aging father. Both, if differently, mourn the loss of their four-year-old son eight years ago.

In this momentous novel, Kitchen weaves these and other voices into the tapestry of a single day, an ordinary day in the lives of ordinary people, yet a day that, by gathering the threads of all they have been, might change their lives forever. Strange, Molly was thinking, how we go through our lives on remote control. But as she drives toward town, a quick glance at a fatal car accident, which has slowed traffic to an agonizing crawl, brings her to the precipice.

About the Author
Writer and educator Judith Kitchen (1941 2014) was the cofounder of the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.