Split Estate

Charlotte Bacon, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $25 (290p) ISBN 978-0-374-28183-0

Bacon’s beautifully wrought, precisely observed and haunting latest follows a New York family struggling to survive a suicide. When Laura King jumps from the window of her Upper East Side Manhattan apartment, she leaves her husband, Arthur, and her teenage children, Cam and Celia, in emotional limbo. Seeking solace and a change of scene, Arthur takes the children cross-country to his mother, Lucy’s, home in Callendar, Wyo. With pitch-perfect command of distinctive voices, Bacon (There Is Room for You ; Last Geography ) divides the narrative between Arthur, Celia and Cam, and Lucy King, all of whom feel guilt and anger about Laura’s suicide. A major plot strand relates to the issue of mineral and drilling rights under the ranch land and gives the novel its title: each of the Kings strike out in self-destructive ways, related and unrelated to proposed methane wells, leading to a shocking denouement. Bacon captures the stark Wyoming landscape and Western ethos, and the power of buried secrets. She masterfully portrays complex family relationships in the wake of irrevocable damage. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/26/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-0-312-42821-1
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4668-3522-1
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-4928-3
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