A Day at the Beach

Helen Schulman, Author . Houghton Mifflin $24 (214p) ISBN 978-0-618-74654-5

Schulman (P.S. ; The Revisionist ) doesn't disappoint with this narrative spanning 24 terrible hours in the life of the Falktopf family on a certain September day. Husband and wife Gerhard and Suzannah, somewhat mismatched, struggle to come to terms with each other, the turns their lives have begun to take and their artsy downtown Manhattan existence. Suzannah is a 36-year-old former dancer turned stay-at-home mother of autistic son Nikolai, while choreographer Gerhard is autodidactic, worldly, anal retentive and unaffectionate, and has just been notified by his dance company's board that he is to be replaced by someone "committed to the spirit of the early Gerhard Falktopf" and that the company is trying to usurp his works, including his crowning achievement, yet-to-be-premiered A Day at the Beach . The Falktopfs watch (separately: Suzannah from their apartment, Gerhard from a nearby bank) in horror as the towers burn and collapse before fleeing to East Hampton. There, Gerhard and Suzannah navigate their troubled marriage and a few moral predicaments brought on by chance meetings with long-lost friends. Schulman's novel succeeds as a haunting, poignant remembrance. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/02/2007
Release date: 06/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 214 pages - 978-0-547-05360-8
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