Synopses & Reviews
“[A] well-crafted and cunning debut novel…a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.”
The Summer We Fell Apart by newcomer Robin Antalek is a poignant, funny, and totally engrossing novel of family disasters and sibling rivalry—and it marks the debut of a pitch-perfect new voice in contemporary American fiction. Antaleks tale of the trials and many tribulations of the hapless and more than a little dysfunctional Haas family recalls the work of Sue Miller and Ann Beattie—and is a wonderful introduction to a superb writer whose short fiction has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Glimmer Trains Family Matters and Short-Story Award and the Bellingham Reviews Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction.
"A preoccupied playwright father and a cult-actress mother are the stars of the Haas family in Antalek's well-crafted and cunning debut novel. Set in New York and Los Angeles, and spanning 15 years, the novel is told from the perspective of four siblings close in age and their mother, Marilyn, and plays on the wide-ranging themes of love, loss, abandonment and expectation. Opening with Amy, the youngest and most free-spirited, we learn of the family's constant state of tension and tenuousness. George, the second youngest, is sweet and sentimental; eldest sister Kate, a lawyer, is the tough one; and Finn, the second oldest, is an alcoholic. Each sibling's story is full of painful memories involving their parents' neglect and disloyalty, but their coming together is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and to the importance of family ties regardless of family history, making this an endearing and easy-to-relate-to dysfunctional family drama." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Full of the best kind of heartache, The Summer We Fell Apart is an unforgettable, big-hearted debut that will make you want to pick up the phone and call your own brother or sister.” Will Allison, author of < i=""> What You Have Left <>
“THE SUMMER WE FELL APART tells the story of the four Haas kids.... With every chapter the story grows richer and clearer, as does your appreciation for their humor, their burdens and their devotion to each other.” Juliette Fay, author of < i=""> Shelter Me <>
“THE SUMMER WE FELL APART is a thoroughly entertaining and often heart- breaking romp through the chaos and comforts of a large and extraordinary family.” Jessica Anya Blau, author of THE SUMMER OF NAKED SWIM PARTIES
“Robin Antaleks debut is as haunting as it is grippinga story of the events, both mundane and dramatic, that tear a family apart; and of the often inexplicable love that binds a family together. THE SUMMER WE FELL APART is a beautiful, memorable novel.” Diana Spechler, author of Who By Fire
“The most moving aspect of this very moving novel may be its authors relationship to her characters. By portraying each siblings muddled life with tenderness, respect, and clear-sightedness, author Antalek proves herself to be the ultimate good parent.” Martha Moody, bestselling author of < i=""> Best Friends <>
“The Summer We Fell Apart is a bright, big-hearted novel about the complexities and heartaches of the way we live now.” Elizabeth Benedict, author of < i=""> Almost <> and < i=""> Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives <>
" A] well-crafted and cunning debut novel...a testament to the resilience of the human spirit."
--Publishers WeeklyThe Summer We Fell Apart by newcomer
Robin Antalek is a poignant, funny, and totally engrossing novel of family disasters and sibling rivalry--and it marks the debut of a pitch-perfect new voice in contemporary American fiction. Antalek's tale of the trials and many tribulations of the hapless and more than a little dysfunctional Haas family recalls the work of Sue Miller and Ann Beattie--and is a wonderful introduction to a superb writer whose short fiction has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Glimmer Train's Family Matter's and Short-Story Award and the Bellingham Review's Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction.
The children of a once-brilliant playwright and a struggling actress, the four Haas siblings grew up in chaos—raised in an environment composed of neglect and glamour in equal measure. When their father dies, they must depend on their intense but fragile bond to remember what it means to be family despite years of anger and hurt. These brothers and sisters are painfully human, sometimes selfish, and almost always making the wrong decisions, but their endearing struggles provide laughter through tears—something anyone who's ever had a sibling can relate to.
About the Author
Robin Antalek's work has been published in numerous literary journals. She lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, with her husband and two daughters. The Summer We Fell Apart is her first novel.