Something Red

Jennifer Gilmore, Author . Scribner $25 (307p) ISBN 978-1-4165-7170-4

Gilmore's second novel (after Golden Country ) takes an extended documentary look at divided loyalties within a suburban Washington, D.C., family caught in the cultural and political mayhem of late-1970s America. With the country seized by an energy crisis, a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan provoking an American wheat embargo, and a boycott against the Winter Olympics, Dennis Goldstein's job at the U.S. Department of Agriculture is imperiled, as is the business of his New Agey caterer wife, Sharon. Meanwhile, son Benjamin sets off to college, eager to emulate the activism of his grandparents' 1930s generation, and humorless 16-year-old daughter Vanessa dives into punk rock and bulimia. Gilmore excavates every thought process from each: Sharon recognizes that “her faith in the power to make changes in the world felt like a fluid that had been drained from her.” Dennis, on the other hand, is the son of Russian Jewish émigrés for whom the deaths of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg proved the defining, shameful moment of their generation, and he becomes unwittingly tangled in his mother's Old World perfidy. Gilmore relentlessly chronicles these hapless characters' collective flight from numbness with verve. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/01/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 307 pages - 978-0-547-54942-2
Hardcover - 978-1-4165-7171-1
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4165-7594-8
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