Synopses & Reviews
Caroline Dunlap has written off the insular world of the Boston deb parties, golf club luaus, and WASP weddings that she grew up with. But when she reluctantly returns home after her college graduation, she finds that not everything is quite as predictable, or protected, as she had imagined.
Her father, the eccentric, puritanical Jack Dunlap, is carrying on stoically after the breakup of his marriage, but he can't stop thinking of Rosita, the family housekeeper he fired almost six months ago. Caroline's little brother, Eliot, is working on a giant papier-mâché diorama of their town-or is he hatching a plan of larger proportions?
As the real reason for Rosita's departure is revealed, the novel culminates in a series of events that assault the fragile, sheltered, and arguably obsolete world of the Dunlaps. Opening a window into a family's repressed desires and fears, The Hazards of Good Breeding is both funny and startlingly perceptive.
"An excellent novel....The author avoids contrivance in presenting sensitive issues experienced by totally credible, thoughtful people and comes up with a new understanding of American life every bit as affecting as Richard Yates's magnificent Revolutionary Road." Ann Beattie
"Written with a keen eye, an incisive wit, and, most of all, a love that is genuine and breathtaking, The Hazards of Good Breeding is a sterling novel, a deliciously comic and deeply profound look at an American family, indeed at America itself." Binnie Kirshenbaum
"Jennifer Shattuck has written a thoughtful and elegant first novel, full of insight and humor. It is set in a rarefied world, one that she knows intimately and reveals perceptively; one which, for all its flaws and eccentricities, she loves." Roxana Robinson
"With her sharp eye for detail and witty, winning prose, Jessica Shattuck takes the familiar story of a high-WASP family's demise and turns it on its head. There are at least fifteen certifiable pleasures in every paragraph of this charming, intelligent, and exceedingly well-crafted debut." Helen Shulman
"With great skill and wisdom Jessica Shattuck weaves an intricate domestic web that highlights the most vulnerable threads in a myriad of relationships: parents, children, friends, and lovers. The Hazards of Good Breeding is all that the title promises and more. It is a terrific debut by a talented writer." Jill McCorkle
About the Author
Jessica Shattuck lives in Norwich, Vermont. This is her first book.