Ordinary Hazards

Anna Bruno. Atria, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-1-9821-2695-7
In Bruno’s engrossing debut, 30-something Emma returns from her new home in Brooklyn to the Final Final dive bar in Wilton, N.Y., where she met her ex-husband, Lucas, five years earlier. Through flashbacks, Emma reflects on good times with Lucas and becoming a mother before their divorce, and Bruno slowly draws out the details around devastating events that lead to Emma’s heartbreak. Despite her job as a hedge fund manager, which requires her to be alert before the markets open, Emma spends the evening in Wilton near Lucas, where “there’s a fine line between rustic and run-down,” as opposed to her own Brooklyn neighborhood. After one of the regulars, Martin “Yag” Yagla—a longtime friend of Lucas—confronts Emma for lingering, Emma muses on how Wilton tethers her to memories of her former family. Emma has it out for Yag, and decides to get him banned from the Final Final by slipping a man’s wallet into his jacket, then accusing him of stealing it. The skirmish is resolved, yet it has ramifications, as Emma and Yag grapple with events surrounding the dissolution of Emma’s family. While the Upstate and Brooklyn descriptions verge on cliché, the author convincingly portrays Emma’s ambition, grief, and desire to move on from the past. In the end, Bruno’s thoughtful tale offers memorable insights on the meaning of home. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/26/2020
Release date: 08/01/2020
Genre: Fiction
Book - 978-1-9821-2697-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4711-9140-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-1006-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-1008-0
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