Today’s Lunch Lit is a The Red House excerpt by Mark Haddon. 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. 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 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.
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.
Mark Haddon is the author if the international bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Whitbread Book of the Year award; and the New York Times bestseller, A Spot of Bother. In addition to The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, a collection of poetry, Haddon has also written and illustrated numerous award-winning children’s books and television screenplays.