cover image Lights Out in Lincolnwood

Lights Out in Lincolnwood

Geoff Rodkey. Harper Perennial, $16.99 trade paper (544p) ISBN 978-0-06-306592-5

Rodkey (We’re Not from Here) delivers an irresistible story about a hapless family’s efforts to survive the apocalypse. The Altmans live in Lincolnwood, N.J., a suburb full of high-powered but absent fathers, devoted but drunken mothers, and disaffected children. The Altmans fit right in: Dan Altman recently left his cushy law firm to spend all his time chasing a screenwriting dream. His wife, Jen, wants to restart her career after a decade heading the PTA, but she’d rather day-drink than network. Chloe, their overachieving daughter, is stressed about the ACTs. And Max, their 14-year-old son, is addicted to his Juul. When everyone’s lives are upended as the lights go out, devices go dark, cars stop working, and planes fall from the sky, Lincolnwood residents are bewildered. But it’s only a matter of days before confusion gives way to chaos. As neighbors flee or join the militia forming to fight the neighboring town for water, the Altmans must face their flaws. Can they loot Whole Foods, outmaneuver their gun-toting neighbors next door, and form a plan for survival? Rodkey’s wry humor turns the upending of modern life into a jovial comedy of errors, and he’s got a skilled hand at charting his characters’ fragilities. Fans of Matt Haig will want to give this a look. (July)