Fallen Land

Patrick Flanery. Riverhead, $27.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-59463-180-1
Flanery’s engrossing new novel speaks to modern anxieties through themes of loss. In an unnamed Midwestern city, Paul Krovik has lost his business due to incompetence, his home due to foreclosure, and his family due to divorce. Now he lives in a bunker adjoining his former home. Neighbor Louise Washington is being evicted from her home on her family farm, which is being sold off to satisfy debts. Nathaniel Noailles’s family—Boston transplants now living in Paul’s old house—is falling apart, partly due to poltergeistlike nighttime visits from Paul (who emerges in the pantry via a secret tunnel) and partly due to son Copley’s difficulties in a draconian school run by Nathaniel’s employer, the sinister multinational security corporation EKK. Convinced that Copley is responsible for the disturbances in the house, Nathaniel ignores the problems he is having at school. Only Copley’s mother Julia—and Louise—believe the boy is innocent. Flanery (Absolution) excels in depicting psychic anguish. Paul is both disturbing and fascinating, and Copley, helpless in the face of his father’s increasing harshness, is eminently sympathetic. The characters’ struggles culminate in a shocking and memorable denouement. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/03/2013
Release date: 08/15/2013
Paperback - 436 pages - 978-1-59463-277-8
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