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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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In Between Days

by

In Between Days Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An exceptionally engaging first novel from a commanding new voice in fiction, author of the award-winning and widely acclaimed story collection The Theory of Light and Matter.

The Harding family is teetering on the brink. Elson — once one of Houston's most promising architects — is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother's minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can't explain to either her parents or her older brother, and returns to Houston, the Hardings' lives begin to unravel. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the deftness of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of going home.

Review:

"Crises approach from all sides for the Harding family in Porter's (The Theory of Light and Matter) debut novel set in contemporary Houston, Tex. Architect father Elson, bitterly divorced from Cadence, struggles to stay connected to his much younger Filipina girlfriend, Lorna, while his children become unmoored. Son Richard, a gifted poet recently graduated from college, is living at home with his mother, tumbling into drugs and self-loathing as he figures out what to do with his life. Tipping the fragile family balance into chaos is the sudden return of daughter Chloe, who has taken an involuntary leave of absence from college after a potentially criminal connection to an incident involving her mysterious boyfriend Raja. Chloe's abrupt disappearance soon after her arrival disrupts everyone as it soon becomes clear that Chloe will do anything for love. The improbable plot progresses through the perspective of each major family member with backward glimpses into the origins of the family's current troubles and gestures to a potential future, but with the exception of Elson, the characters and their relationships are rarely convincing. And when a central conflict revolves around whether 20-something Richard will get an M.F.A. in poetry, any tension easily dissipates. The prose, while extremely competent, is excessive, with long passages of unnecessary dialogue, unnecessary exposition, and unconvincing interior monologues. An ambitious but ultimately disappointing look at a dysfunctional modern family. Agent: Terra Chalberg, Susan Golomb Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Porter’s debut novel grabs the reader and does not let go until the last line....The plot moves backward and forward in time, artfully revealing key details and maintaining a mesmerizing level of suspense....An examination of the development of identity as seen through the lens of the disintegration of family; highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"The story is told with great emotional and psychological insight. All of the four Hardings get to tell their pieces of the story in their distinct voices, creating a multilayered and suspenseful tale of love in all its varieties and family defined in different ways." Booklist

Review:

"Porter’s absorbing debut novel chronicles the slow-motion fracture of an upper-middle-class Houston clan....The prose is smooth — practically frictionless, thanks to Porter’s realistic yet meaningful dialogue and his plainspoken, nonjudgmental descriptions....Porter wants to explore why we take such firm hold of some parts of our emotional lives but willfully neglect others, and his surprise ending suggests why it’s worth breaking free of others’ definitions of emotional attainment." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

"Andrew Porter is a born storyteller....He makes his own space instantly and invites you in. Hats off!" — Barry Hannah

From a commanding new voice in fiction comes a novel as perceptive as it is generous: a portrait of an American family trying to cope in our world today, a story of choices and doubts and transgressions.

The Hardings are teetering on the brink. Elson — once one of Houston’s most promising architects, who never quite lived up to expectations — is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother’s minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can’t explain to either her parents or her older brother, the Hardings’ lives start to unravel. Chloe returns to Houston, but the dangers set in motion back at school prove inescapable. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the wisdom of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of coming home.

Synopsis:

“Andrew Porter is a born storyteller . . . He makes his own space instantly and invites you in. Hats off!”  —Barry Hannah

 

From a commanding new voice in fiction comes a novel as perceptive as it is generous: a portrait of an American family trying to cope in our world today, a story of choices and doubts and transgressions.

The Hardings are teetering on the brink. Elson—once one of Houston’s most promising architects, who never quite lived up to expectations—is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother’s minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can’t explain to either her parents or her older brother, the Hardings’ lives start to unravel. Chloe returns to Houston, but the dangers set in motion back at school prove inescapable. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the wisdom of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of coming home.

About the Author

Andrew Porter is the author of the story collection The Theory of Light and Matter. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has received a Pushcart Prize, a James Michener/Copernicus Fellowship, and the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. His work has appeared in One Story, The Threepenny Review, and on public radio’s Selected Shorts. Currently, he teaches fiction writing and directs the creative writing program at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307273512
Author:
Porter, Andrew
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literature-Family Life
Publication Date:
20120931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.51 x 6.64 x 1.27 in 1.4 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Urban Life

In Between Days Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Knopf - English 9780307273512 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Crises approach from all sides for the Harding family in Porter's (The Theory of Light and Matter) debut novel set in contemporary Houston, Tex. Architect father Elson, bitterly divorced from Cadence, struggles to stay connected to his much younger Filipina girlfriend, Lorna, while his children become unmoored. Son Richard, a gifted poet recently graduated from college, is living at home with his mother, tumbling into drugs and self-loathing as he figures out what to do with his life. Tipping the fragile family balance into chaos is the sudden return of daughter Chloe, who has taken an involuntary leave of absence from college after a potentially criminal connection to an incident involving her mysterious boyfriend Raja. Chloe's abrupt disappearance soon after her arrival disrupts everyone as it soon becomes clear that Chloe will do anything for love. The improbable plot progresses through the perspective of each major family member with backward glimpses into the origins of the family's current troubles and gestures to a potential future, but with the exception of Elson, the characters and their relationships are rarely convincing. And when a central conflict revolves around whether 20-something Richard will get an M.F.A. in poetry, any tension easily dissipates. The prose, while extremely competent, is excessive, with long passages of unnecessary dialogue, unnecessary exposition, and unconvincing interior monologues. An ambitious but ultimately disappointing look at a dysfunctional modern family. Agent: Terra Chalberg, Susan Golomb Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Porter’s debut novel grabs the reader and does not let go until the last line....The plot moves backward and forward in time, artfully revealing key details and maintaining a mesmerizing level of suspense....An examination of the development of identity as seen through the lens of the disintegration of family; highly recommended."
"Review" by , "The story is told with great emotional and psychological insight. All of the four Hardings get to tell their pieces of the story in their distinct voices, creating a multilayered and suspenseful tale of love in all its varieties and family defined in different ways."
"Review" by , "Porter’s absorbing debut novel chronicles the slow-motion fracture of an upper-middle-class Houston clan....The prose is smooth — practically frictionless, thanks to Porter’s realistic yet meaningful dialogue and his plainspoken, nonjudgmental descriptions....Porter wants to explore why we take such firm hold of some parts of our emotional lives but willfully neglect others, and his surprise ending suggests why it’s worth breaking free of others’ definitions of emotional attainment."
"Synopsis" by , "Andrew Porter is a born storyteller....He makes his own space instantly and invites you in. Hats off!" — Barry Hannah

From a commanding new voice in fiction comes a novel as perceptive as it is generous: a portrait of an American family trying to cope in our world today, a story of choices and doubts and transgressions.

The Hardings are teetering on the brink. Elson — once one of Houston’s most promising architects, who never quite lived up to expectations — is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother’s minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can’t explain to either her parents or her older brother, the Hardings’ lives start to unravel. Chloe returns to Houston, but the dangers set in motion back at school prove inescapable. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the wisdom of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of coming home.

"Synopsis" by , “Andrew Porter is a born storyteller . . . He makes his own space instantly and invites you in. Hats off!”  —Barry Hannah

 

From a commanding new voice in fiction comes a novel as perceptive as it is generous: a portrait of an American family trying to cope in our world today, a story of choices and doubts and transgressions.

The Hardings are teetering on the brink. Elson—once one of Houston’s most promising architects, who never quite lived up to expectations—is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother’s minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can’t explain to either her parents or her older brother, the Hardings’ lives start to unravel. Chloe returns to Houston, but the dangers set in motion back at school prove inescapable. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the wisdom of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of coming home.

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