The Mysteries

Marisa Silver. Bloomsbury, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-63557-644-3
Two seven-year-old girls see their friendship ripped apart on one horrifying summer day in Silver’s thoughtful latest (after Little Nothing). Miggy Brenneman is the only child of ballet teacher Jean and jazz-loving Julian, who has taken over his family’s failing hardware store in 1973 St. Louis. Their neighbor Ellen Gallagher, stepdaughter of wealthy William and daughter of fragile Celeste, follows wild Miggy “like a cult devotee.” While Miggy and Ellen keep an eye on Miggy’s pregnant dog and play in the neighborhood, with reckless Miggy leading Ellen into uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situations, the adults mull over their regrets—for Jean and Julian, it’s their “pot-infused trip to Mexico” after college graduation, during which they ran out of birth control pills; and for William, the big house he bought to surprise Celeste, who suffers postpartum depression after the birth of Ellen’s baby half brother. Silver’s attention to the parents pays off in the second half of the book, after they are transformed by a car accident on their street involving a suspected drunk driver. Silver’s unsettling study of the painful effects of change channels the bitter nostalgia of Rick Moody. Agent: Henry Dunow. Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/10/2021
Release date: 05/04/2021
Genre: Fiction
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