Day 9: The Red House is not a story of nine ladies dancing at their home but instead a dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family from Mark Haddon the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The Red House is a great book for our 12 Days of Random House Library Marketing Giveaway. Enter to win a copy here.
The setup 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 remarried and acquired a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. All eight arrive with low expectations for a pleasant holiday. But because of Haddon’s extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but familiar. 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, but we grow 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.
“Newly remarried and stuck with a headstrong stepdaughter, wealthy doctor Richard tries to mend fences with sister Angela by inviting her and her family for a week’s stay at a vacation home in the English countryside. But Angela has a hopeless husband and three cranky kids of her own, and the week serves up secrets and misunderstandings, relentless grudges and dashed dreams. In lesser hands, this could be dreary, but I expect the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to deliver an insightful, delicately tuned, bittersweet account of the contemporary family.” – Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal