Olympus, Texas

Stacey Swann. Doubleday, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-54521-1
Swann’s luminous debut follows a troubled family in small-town Olympus, Tex., as they become increasingly consumed by secrets, scandals, and betrayals. As the book opens, March Briscoe returns two and a half years after his affair with his sister-in-law, Vera, was discovered. March’s reappearance sets in motion a chain of disasters. His brother, Hap, is still mad about the infidelity, and his mother, June, doesn’t know how to handle it. Meanwhile, March and Hap’s chronic philanderer father, Peter, a real estate tycoon, deals with June’s discontent with his past infidelity, and March’s half-siblings fathered by Peter—twins Arlo and Artie—are divided by Arlo’s jealousy over Artie’s new boyfriend. Rife with allusions to mythology (March’s dogs are named Remus and Romulus, portending the explosive and deadly flashpoint in Arlo and Artie’s conflict), this epic makes the most of its vivid Texan setting, becoming as well a love letter to the state’s rugged beauty and homegrown familiarity (“The sun is glinting off the water’s murky surface like spilled glitter as he crosses the bridge and hits the city limits of the only place that’s ever felt like home”). This teems with skillfully evoked drama and tragedy. Agent: Nicole Aragi, Aragi Inc. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/12/2021
Release date: 05/04/2021
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 538 pages - 978-0-593-41409-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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