The Folded World

Amity Gaige, Author . Other Press $23.95 (294p) ISBN 978-1-59051-248-7

Gaige follows up on the 2006 National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" selection O My Darling with a measured account of a mildly troubled marriage and the hurdles faced by well-meaning social caseworkers. Gorgeous and dark-haired Alice Bussard, the 22-year-old daughter of a librarian, leaves "shabby" hometown Gloucester, Mass., to find bigger and better in a nearby (and unnamed) city. What she finds, however, is a job as a dentist's receptionist and the attention of 25-year-old, big-eared Midwestern transplant Charlie Shade, who is finishing his master's in social work. Before long, they're married and Charlie's found an underpaid and overworked job. They have twins, and Charlie's dedication to his work—and two patients, Hal Kramer and Opal Ludlow, specifically—sparks domestic tension (Alice is predictably tempted by another man), professional trouble and physical danger. Alice's mother comes to help with the kids, but ends up sharing with Alice the truth Alice would rather not hear about the father she never knew. Gaige's sophomore effort is polished and competent, with measured doses of dry humor leavening overwrought prose . Details about the mechanisms of the social work system are convincing, as is Gaige's portrayal of a young marriage on the rocks, but the narrative may be too tidy for some. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/12/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 301 pages - 978-0-8129-7854-4
Open Ebook - 166 pages - 978-1-59051-504-4
Show other formats
Discover what to read next