The Invaders

Karolina Waclawiak. Regan Arts, $25.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-941393-29-1
A middle-aged woman clinging to the tattered edges of her marriage strikes up an unlikely friendship with her stepson, a drug-addicted Ivy League expellee, in this inviting but superficial novel by Waclawiak (How to Get into the Twin Palms). Set in fictional Little Neck Cove, along Connecticut’s private beach–chocked Long Island Sound shore, the novel opens with a small disaster—co-protagonist Cheryl is accosted on a nature trail and attacks her harasser, a local young man, damaging his face—and careers toward a much larger one: a hurricane that threatens to deface the postcard-perfect community. Cheryl, who has ascended from outlet-mall clerk to pastel-clad housewife, resents her neighbors, who harbor irrational fears about trespassers. Meanwhile, her husband’s son, Teddy, tries to imagine a future for himself amid a cloud of pills and booze, until his antics culminate in a humiliating (and possibly permanent) injury. Car wrecks on tennis courts, affairs between neighbors, and drunken spats at the country club: this material may be well-worn but it’s always worth revisiting. Waclawiak’s treatment of it, however, too often dissolves into clichéd black-and-white moralizing. Of an out-of-place fisherman, one local woman says, “He’s Mexican. [...] We have to do something.” The effect here is to perpetuate, rather than complicate, received notions among the suburban upper crust. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 07/07/2015
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-941393-91-8
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