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An dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family, from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The set-up of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over.
But because of Haddon's extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but simple. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, The Red House becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly-guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt. As we come to know each character they become profoundly real to us. We understand them, even as we come to realize they will never fully understand each other, which is the tragicomedy of every family.
The Red House is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner—a novel sure to entrance the millions of readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
“A beautiful and authentic portrait of a blended family and the secrets, grudges and desires that keep its members apart.” —Real Simple
“Amusing and poignant as it explores a family’s fumbling attempts at connection.” —Whole Living
"Surprising and deeply moving. . . . The set-up ensures that there will be revelations, twists and shifts in the family dynamic . . . sustaining suspense . . . while enriching the developing relationships among people. . . . Organic rather than contrived, the characters convincing throughout, the tone compassionate and the writing wise. A novel to savor." —Kirkus, starred review
“[Haddon] is almost unrivalled at the notoriously tricky task of giving an authentic voice to children, and his ability to pinpoint the comic aspects of the everyday scenarios.” —Sunday Times
"A masterly evocation of two dysfunctional, yet outwardly respectable families." —Sunday Express
“Mark Haddon is terrifyingly talented.” —Times (UK)
"A serious, lyrical, complex novel. . . . Beautiful." —The Herald
"Hugely enjoyable, sympathetic novel would make perfect reading for those setting out on holiday." —The Observer
"[Haddon is] a master craftsman." —The Independent
"With writing as elegant and truthful as this, readers will wish to keep their copies close at hand to savour again.”
—The Daily Mail
"[Haddon] writes like a dream. Never showy, but often lyrically descriptive, he takes the reader with him to the core of this crazy family. Secondly, he has a true understanding of the human heart." —Spectator
"It’s every bit as charmingly idiosyncratic as his brilliant The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” —The Daily Mirror
"Engaging. . . . From the first page in which the train carrying Dominic and Angela's family "unzips the fields", there is a vigor to Haddon's prose which carries you along. I read it twice, both times with enjoyment.” —The Independent