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Fallen Landby Patrick Flanery
Synopses & Reviews
A bold and exciting literary novel that contemplates the elusive line between truth and self-perception.
Ambitious and assured, Absolution propels the reader to the final page in a drive to discover the secrets and truths at its core. How or why did a young antiapartheid activist disappear twenty years earlier? How does that event link the present-day characters? And how does it explain the choices they have made or the lies they may tell themselves?
Set in contemporary South Africa, Absolution is a big-idea novel about the pitfalls of memory, the ramifications of censorship, and the ways we are silently complicit in the problems around us. It’s also a devastating, intimate, and stunningly woven story. Told in shifting perspectives, it centers on the mysterious character of Clare Wald, a controversial writer of great fame, haunted by the memories of a sister she fears she betrayed to her death and a daughter she fears she abandoned. Clare comes to learn that in this conflict the dead do not stay buried, and the missing return in other forms—such as the child witness of her daughter’s last days who has reappeared twenty years later as Clare’s official biographer, prompting an unraveling of history and a search for forgiveness. Patrick Flanery is an exhilarating new writer, and this is a masterpiece of rich, complicated characters and narration that captures the reader and does not let go.
"Flanery's engrossing new novel speaks to modern anxieties through themes of loss. In an unnamed Midwestern city, Paul Krovik has lost his business due to incompetence, his home due to foreclosure, and his family due to divorce. Now he lives in a bunker adjoining his former home. Neighbor Louise Washington is being evicted from her home on her family farm, which is being sold off to satisfy debts. Nathaniel Noailles's family — Boston transplants now living in Paul's old house — is falling apart, partly due to poltergeistlike nighttime visits from Paul (who emerges in the pantry via a secret tunnel) and partly due to son Copley's difficulties in a draconian school run by Nathaniel's employer, the sinister multinational security corporation EKK. Convinced that Copley is responsible for the disturbances in the house, Nathaniel ignores the problems he is having at school. Only Copley's mother Julia — and Louise — believe the boy is innocent. Flanery (Absolution) excels in depicting psychic anguish. Paul is both disturbing and fascinating, and Copley, helpless in the face of his father's increasing harshness, is eminently sympathetic. The characters' struggles culminate in a shocking and memorable denouement. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the critically acclaimed author of Absolution, a dazzling . . . thrilling . . . downright exhilarating” (The Washington Post) page-turner set in the American heartland.
In Patrick Flanerys tensely brilliant second novel, the layered and tumultuous past of one plot of former farmland comes to haunt its new owners in breathtaking yet deeply meaningful ways.
When Julia and Nathaniel arrive in a luxury suburb of neo-Victorian homes on the edge of a sprawling midwestern city, they have no inkling of its history. For the East Coast couple and their young son, Copley, it is a fresh start, promising a bucolic American future. They buy up the signature home of the development in a foreclosure sale and move in to their brave new world. Yet violence lies just beneath the surface of this land, and simmers deep within Nathaniel—as it did in the developments architect. As the remaining trees on the land bear witness, reality shifts, and the edges of what is right and wrong blur and then vanish, as Copley becomes convinced that someone is living in the house with them.
From the critically acclaimed author of Absolution, a literary page-turner set in the American heartland.
Poplar Farm has been in Louises family for generations, inherited by her sharecropping forbearer from a white landowner after a lynching. Now the farm has been carved up, the trees torn down—a mini-massacre replicating the history of many farms before it, and the destruction of lives and societies taking place all across America.
Architect of this destruction is Paul Krovik, a property developer soon driven insane by the failure of his ambition. Left behind is a half-finished luxury suburb” of neo-Victorian homes on the outskirts of a sprawling midwestern city. To Paul it is a collapsed dream, but to Julia and Nathaniel, arriving from their small Boston apartment, it is a new start, promising a bucolic future. With their son, Copley, they buy Pauls signature home in a foreclosure sale and move in to their brave new world. Yet violence lies just beneath the surface of this land, and simmers deep within Nathaniel. The remaining trees bear witness, Louise lives on in her beleaguered farmhouse, and as reality shifts, and the edges of what is right and wrong blur and then vanish, Copley becomes convinced that someone is living in the house with them.
About the Author
Patrick Flanery is the author of Absolution. He was born in California and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford. He lives in London.
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