Honestly, We Meant Well

Grant Ginder. Flatiron, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-14315-0
Ginder’s charming fourth novel (after The People We Hate at the Wedding) chronicles a trip that classics professor Sue Ellen Wright takes with her family to Greece, where they stay at a hotel run by Eleni Papadakis, the daughter of Sue Ellen’s former lover. Sue Ellen catches her husband, Dean, a famous writer, having an affair with a producer. In an effort to try to move forward together as a family, Dean proposes that he and their son, Will, accompany Sue Ellen on a gig to lecture to a group of cruise-goers at their stop in Aegina. Will’s about to graduate college and is feeling both aimless and overshadowed by his dad. He plagiarizes one of Dean’s unpublished pieces and later panics when he learns from his classmate Ginny that it’s going to be featured in the school’s lit journal. Ginny is pregnant and plans to confront Dean, who left her a month ago. Sue Ellen bonds with Eleni and reveals how she loved Eleni’s father, Christos, years ago. Eleni, meanwhile, is still smarting from Christos’s death and can’t wait to sell the hotel to Swiss developers. Matters come to a head when Ginny locates Dean, Eleni has second thoughts about the sale, and Will learns something shocking from Dean’s latest book. Ginder’s writing is funny and evocative; it skillfully touches on the passage of time in a family and in a marriage while effortlessly shifting points of view. Fans of clever, wistful stories will find much to love, and also appreciate the bonus classics tidbits. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/04/2019
Release date: 06/11/2019
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-22196-4
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