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Halfway House

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Halfway House Cover

ISBN13: 9780871139344
ISBN10: 0871139340
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One day, Angie Voorster — diligent student, all-star swimmer, and Ivy League?bound high school senior — dives to the bottom of a pool and stays there. In that moment, everything the Voorster family believes they know about one another changes. Katharine Noel's extraordinary debut illuminates the fault lines in one family's relationships, as well as the complex emotional ties that bind them together.

Set in a small town in New Hampshire, Halfway House is the story of Angie's psychotic break and her family's subsequent turmoil. Angie is a charismatic young woman — brilliant, witty, and passionate — until she swings to manic highs or dangerous lows. Each of her family members responds differently to the ongoing crisis: Her father Pieter, a Dutch-born professional cellist, retreats further into his music; her mother begins a destabilizing affair with a younger man; her younger brother, Luke, first distances himself as much as possible from his sister, then later drops out of college to be closer to her. And Luke's college girlfriend Wendy, who comes from a farming town in Iowa, provides an outsider?s perspective on the family?s teeter toward collapse. The Voorsters manage for a time to maintain a semblance of the normalcy they had "before," when they were the ideal New England family; it is not until Angie is finally able to fend for herself that the family is able to truly fall apart and then regather itself in a new, fundamentally changed way.

With grace and precision rarely seen in a first novel, Noel guides readers through a world where love is imperfect, and where longing for an imagined ideal can both destroy one family's happiness and offer redemption. Halfway House introduces a powerful, eloquent new voice.

Review:

"A New Hampshire family comes apart at the seams when Angie Voorster, an ostensibly perfect high school senior and swim team star falls off the edge of mental stability. Among those affected are Pieter, Angie's emotionally inarticulate father; her mother, Jordana, 15 years Pieter's junior and seeking solace in the arms of a younger man; and Angie's younger brother, Luke, who becomes his sister's keeper. Debut novelist Noel brings these characters to life, exposing every blemish and desire, and revealing them in all their messy humanness. Over the next several years, bipolar Angie struggles to adjust to life derailed by mental illness, ever-changing prescriptions and their side effects: 'She couldn't even lay claim to her own thoughts. Was she the thoughts she had on meds, when her brain was as it should be? Or was she the thoughts she had off meds, her brain as it really was?' Noel unflinchingly constructs scenes with a cinematographer's eye and injects humor into a world of chronic insomnia and suicide attempts. She resists sensationalizing or romanticizing mental illness, and with sympathetic knowledge of the subject (she worked at a mental health home), her keen insights are spot-on." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"This is suburban angst in the tradition of John Cheever and Rick Moody." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] potent, informative, and compassionate novel." Booklist

Review:

"Noel's representation of mental illness is sympathetic, but never romantic....It explores the mystery of family and its inexplicable, irresistible resilience in the face of affliction." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"With these characters, Katharine Noel brings us a whole world, carved in sharp relief, as it moves in and out of madness. A brilliant novel." Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli

Review:

"In Katharine Noel's stunning debut novel, family life is revealed...in all its love and warmth and, yes, its darkness, too....I was enthralled." Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen's Pier

Review:

"Can this really be Katharine Noel's first book?....This is the kind of novel that creates ardent fans; without a doubt, it is the beginning of a brilliant literary career." Julie Orringer, author of How To Breathe Underwater

Review:

"Noel ventures far beneath the surface of mental illness and finds all the life and humor and humanity that is waiting below." Lily King, author of The Pleasing Hour and The English Teacher

Synopsis:

One day, Angie Voorster — diligent student, all-star swimmer, and Ivy League-bound high school senior — dives to the bottom of a pool and stays there. In that moment, everything the Voorster family believes they know about one another changes. Set in a small town in New Hampshire, Halfway House is the story of Angie's psychotic break and her family's subsequent turmoil. Each of her family members responds differently to the ongoing crisis: Her father Pieter, a professional cellist, retreats further into his music; her mother begins a destabilizing affair with a younger man; her younger brother, Luke, first pushes away from her then later drops out of college to be closer to her. Though the Voorsters manage for a time to maintain a semblance of the normalcy they had "before," it is not until Angie is finally able to fend for herself that the family is able to truly fall apart and then regather itself in a new, fundamentally changed way. With grace and precision rarely seen in a first novel, Noel guides readers through a world where love is imperfect, and where longing for an imagined ideal can both destroy one family's happiness and offer redemption.

Synopsis:

Set in a small town in New Hampshire, this novel is the story of a girl's psychotic break and her family's subsequent turmoil. With grace and precision rarely seen in a first novel, Noel guides readers through a world where love is imperfect, and where longing for an imagined ideal can both destroy one family's happiness and offer redemption.

About the Author

Katharine Noel is a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where she formerly held a Stegner Fellowship. Previously, Noel lived and worked for two years on a farm with a group of adults with mental illnesses. She currently lives in San Francisco, where she is at work on her second novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

laura, October 12, 2006 (view all comments by laura)
A vivid and sympathetic portrait of a young woman's struggle with bipolar disorder and its effect on her friends and family.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(10 of 21 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780871139344
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Noel, Katharine
Publisher:
Atlantic Monthly Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Family Relationships
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
FICTION / Literary
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20060206
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 23 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Halfway House Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Atlantic Monthly Press - English 9780871139344 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A New Hampshire family comes apart at the seams when Angie Voorster, an ostensibly perfect high school senior and swim team star falls off the edge of mental stability. Among those affected are Pieter, Angie's emotionally inarticulate father; her mother, Jordana, 15 years Pieter's junior and seeking solace in the arms of a younger man; and Angie's younger brother, Luke, who becomes his sister's keeper. Debut novelist Noel brings these characters to life, exposing every blemish and desire, and revealing them in all their messy humanness. Over the next several years, bipolar Angie struggles to adjust to life derailed by mental illness, ever-changing prescriptions and their side effects: 'She couldn't even lay claim to her own thoughts. Was she the thoughts she had on meds, when her brain was as it should be? Or was she the thoughts she had off meds, her brain as it really was?' Noel unflinchingly constructs scenes with a cinematographer's eye and injects humor into a world of chronic insomnia and suicide attempts. She resists sensationalizing or romanticizing mental illness, and with sympathetic knowledge of the subject (she worked at a mental health home), her keen insights are spot-on." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "This is suburban angst in the tradition of John Cheever and Rick Moody."
"Review" by , "[A] potent, informative, and compassionate novel."
"Review" by , "Noel's representation of mental illness is sympathetic, but never romantic....It explores the mystery of family and its inexplicable, irresistible resilience in the face of affliction."
"Review" by , "With these characters, Katharine Noel brings us a whole world, carved in sharp relief, as it moves in and out of madness. A brilliant novel."
"Review" by , "In Katharine Noel's stunning debut novel, family life is revealed...in all its love and warmth and, yes, its darkness, too....I was enthralled."
"Review" by , "Can this really be Katharine Noel's first book?....This is the kind of novel that creates ardent fans; without a doubt, it is the beginning of a brilliant literary career."
"Review" by , "Noel ventures far beneath the surface of mental illness and finds all the life and humor and humanity that is waiting below."
"Synopsis" by ,
One day, Angie Voorster — diligent student, all-star swimmer, and Ivy League-bound high school senior — dives to the bottom of a pool and stays there. In that moment, everything the Voorster family believes they know about one another changes. Set in a small town in New Hampshire, Halfway House is the story of Angie's psychotic break and her family's subsequent turmoil. Each of her family members responds differently to the ongoing crisis: Her father Pieter, a professional cellist, retreats further into his music; her mother begins a destabilizing affair with a younger man; her younger brother, Luke, first pushes away from her then later drops out of college to be closer to her. Though the Voorsters manage for a time to maintain a semblance of the normalcy they had "before," it is not until Angie is finally able to fend for herself that the family is able to truly fall apart and then regather itself in a new, fundamentally changed way. With grace and precision rarely seen in a first novel, Noel guides readers through a world where love is imperfect, and where longing for an imagined ideal can both destroy one family's happiness and offer redemption.
"Synopsis" by , Set in a small town in New Hampshire, this novel is the story of a girl's psychotic break and her family's subsequent turmoil. With grace and precision rarely seen in a first novel, Noel guides readers through a world where love is imperfect, and where longing for an imagined ideal can both destroy one family's happiness and offer redemption.
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