Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst

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Harmony is a frustratingly short book that skips past the chance to fully develop some of the plot hooks it teases, like Josh and Alexandra's growing estrangement, or Scott's mysterious past.
-NPR

Synopsis

"[A] provocative page-turner." —People

“In Parkhurst’s deft treatment, Harmony becomes a story of our time. . . Parkhurst cements herself as a writer capable of astonishing humanity and exquisite prose.” —Washington Post

“Gorgeously written and patently original.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Time

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel, a taut, emotionally wrenching story of how a seemingly "normal" family could become desperate enough to leave everything behind and move to a "family camp" in New Hampshire--a life-changing experience that alters them forever.

How far will a mother go to save her family? The Hammond family is living in DC, where everything seems to be going just fine, until it becomes clear that the oldest daughter, Tilly, is developing abnormally--a mix of off-the-charts genius and social incompetence. Once Tilly--whose condition is deemed undiagnosable--is kicked out of the last school in the area, her mother Alexandra is out of ideas.

The family turns to Camp Harmony and the wisdom of child behavior guru Scott Bean for a solution. But what they discover in the woods of New Hampshire will push them to the very limit. Told from the alternating perspectives of both Alexandra and her younger daughter Iris (the book's Nick Carraway), this is a unputdownable story about the strength of love, the bonds of family, and how you survive the unthinkable.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Carolyn Parkhurst

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Carolyn Parkhurst is the author the bestseller The Dogs of Babel. She holds an MFA in creative writing from American University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and their son.
 
Published August 2, 2016 by Pamela Dorman Books. 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Self Help, Arts & Photography, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Harmony
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 17 2016

A third series of chapters is written by Tilly at some unspecified future date, brilliant, funny, and beautiful monologues that show how deeply Parkhurst understands what she’s writing about. Suspenseful, moving, and full of inspiration and insight about parenting a child with autism.

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NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Tasha Robinson on Aug 13 2016

Harmony is a frustratingly short book that skips past the chance to fully develop some of the plot hooks it teases, like Josh and Alexandra's growing estrangement, or Scott's mysterious past.

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AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Caitlin PenzeyMoog on Aug 01 2016

...are we seeing a cult form? Parkhurst masterfully walks this line, and not until the final pages is the truth revealed.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Katy Guest on Oct 06 2016

This is a fascinating novel, at once challenging and compassionate, thrilling and thoughtful. It asks tough questions about what happens to people who don’t fit predetermined patterns, and what it means to be normal.

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Reader Rating for Harmony
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 58 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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