cover image The Antiques

The Antiques

Kris D’Agostino. Scribner, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5011-3897-3

In his second novel, D’Agostino (The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac) paints a darkly humorous portrait of the American family under duress. In the path of a hurricane sweeping toward Hudson, N.Y., the Westfall family gathers to support patriarch George, who’s been given months to live after a bout with cancer. He dies unexpectedly as the storm intensifies. Ana, George’s grieving wife and his partner in an antiques business, and their three children, all with problems of their own, are left to settle the estate by selling off a painting by René Magritte called Conversation in the Sky, which has hung over the mantle for decades. The Westfall children are Charlie, the caretaker of a cheating husband, a developmentally challenged son, and A-list Hollywood actress Melody Montrose; Josef, a sex-addicted tech entrepreneur working halfheartedly to win back the love of his children and his estranged wife; and Armie, a talented woodworker who lives in his parents’ basement and pines for his high school crush. The antique store and her children’s personal lives in shambles, and Ana experiences a crisis of confidence, wondering how the family will survive. D’Agostino balances scathing and humorous commentary on the foibles of family with keen insight into his characters who, despite their myriad flaws, deserve a satisfactory ending to the worst week ever. (Jan.)