Set in a wealthy oceanfront community in Connecticut, The Invaders examines wealth inequality, marital infidelity, elitism, materialism, and social mores. Told alternately from the perspective of Cheryl, the 10-year (and still unwelcome) "new" resident, and Teddy, her stepson, the story of the exclusive Little Neck Cove becomes brilliantly alive. Between the golfing husbands, the lonely wives, the pressure for perfection, the unrelenting competition, and the desire to whitewash their community, Little Neck Cove is a hotbed of rising tempers, resentful settling, and family discord. As Cheryl and her husband, Jeffrey, realize their marriage is just one among the many currently unraveling in their community, there is more devastation swirling on the horizon. A biting commentary on the state of the wealthy in modern times, The Invaders is not to be missed. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Over the course of a summer in a wealthy Connecticut community, a forty-something woman and her college-age stepson’s lives fall apart in a series of violent shocks.
Cheryl has never been the right kind of country-club wife. She's always felt like an outsider, and now, in her mid-forties — facing the harsh realities of aging while her marriage disintegrates and her troubled stepson, Teddy, is kicked out of college — she feels cast adrift by the sparkling seaside community of Little Neck Cove, Connecticut. So when Teddy shows up at home just as a storm brewing off the coast threatens to destroy the precarious safe haven of the cove, she joins him in an epic downward spiral.
The Invaders, a searing follow-up to Karolina Waclawiak’s critically acclaimed debut novel, How to Get Into the Twin Palms, casts a harsh light on the glossy sheen of even the most “perfect” lives in America's exclusive beach communities. With sharp wit and dark humor, The Invaders exposes the lies and insecurities that run like faultlines through our culture, threatening to pitch bored housewives, pill-popping children, and suspicious neighbors headlong into the suburban abyss.
"The Invaders is a gut punch of a novel — a scathing look at privileged people trapped by their own choices, but unable to imagine an alternative to their misery. Karolina Waclawiak is a remarkable writer, able to channel the unflinching clarity of Richard Yates, the off-kilter tenderness of Cheever, and taut narrative energy of crime fiction in a voice that is all her own." Tom Perrotta, author of, The Leftovers and Little Children
"Karolina Waclawiak’s The Invaders is the stiffest of literary drinks — it’ll jolt your system, and make the world around you glow a little differently when you’re done with it. Witty, dark, and honest, this novel tells the hard — but hilarious — truths about aging in America, dysfunctional relationships, and suburban vices." Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins
"As Cheryl, a trophy wife, and her entitled stepson, Teddy, follow parallel paths to self-destruction, the book draws out the disjunction between a lush, decorous setting and the inner corruption of its inhabitants." The New Yorker
"With its spot-on characterizations, droll dialogue, and staccato pacing, Waclawiak's dark satire is a trenchant indictment of the country club set tempered by compassionately rendered portraits of two of its not entirely unwitting victims." Booklist
"...ought to be sold with coconut oil and sunglasses — a perfect, and perfectly dark, beach read told with L.A.-noir style but set in tony country-club Connecticut." Vanity Fair
About the Author
Karolina Waclawiak (pronounced Vahts-Slav-iak) received her BFA in Screenwriting from USC School of Cinematic Arts and her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Her first novel, How To Get Into The Twin Palms, was published by Two Dollar Radio in 2012. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Glamour, The Rumpus, and The Believer (where she is also the essays editor). She lives in Los Angeles.