cover image The Forrests

The Forrests

Emily Perkins. Bloomsbury, $15 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-60819-677-7

Perkins’s transcendent newest (after Novel About My Wife) tracks the dysfunctional Forrest family across the globe and through time. The book opens in New Zealand with the father directing the young children—Dorothy (aka Dot); her older brother and sister, Michael and Eve; the youngest, Ruth; and the unofficial additional family member, Daniel, whose troubled home life leads him to the Forrests—in a strange home movie whose poignancy is revealed late in the novel, though the author’s descriptively rich prose and sense of scene (“The sun shone through stacked, strangely cornered dark clouds, and down the street an empty parking space glittered with window glass, like shattered mentholated sweets”) drives the story on. Life unfolds with unexpected turns, tragedies, romances, and revelations as the Forrest children—with a focus on Dot—tumble into the complicated world of adulthood. The gravity of Dot’s first love for Daniel is never far from her mind, and Perkins knows how to artfully reveal her characters’ inner machinations as they cope with whatever comes their way. Agent: Georgia Garrett, Rogers, Coleridge & White Literary Agency. (Aug.)