The Beginners

Rebecca Wolff, Riverhead, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-59448-799-6
Dread and desire hang deliciously over every page of Wolff's gothic tale of an adolescent New England girl's unlikely education. Ginger is imaginative, her nose always in a book, and not as advanced, sexually or socially, as her best friend, Cherry, who wants to talk to boys rather than play castle at the abandoned mill. Ginger's family, meanwhile, has lived in a state of near suspended animation since the death of her older brother. But when an odd young couple walk into the cafe where Ginger works, she has her own entrée into a sophisticated world of frank sex talk and philosophical musings. The Motherwells, Raquel and Theo, say they are in town to research the town's past—witch trials, the legend of a town sunk beneath the reservoir—and they allow Ginger and Cherry, but mostly Ginger, into their strange cohort and a party to their sometimes alarming schemes. As Ginger starts avoiding most contact that does not involve the Motherwells, her shrinking world grows more sinister and seductive. Wolff conjures the state of smothering awe and fixation Ginger has for the Motherwells, and her twin needs to be wanted by them sexually and as a stand-in daughter lends a throbbing urgency to a novel as creepy as it is marvelous. (June)
Reviewed on: 02/14/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-50686-8
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-51626-3
Paperback - 291 pages - 978-1-59448-579-4
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