Schroder by Amity Gaige
A Novel

72%

9 Critic Reviews

...the item that brings about Schroder’s downfall is perfect, both dramatic and mundane. The reader will realize that he or she has been given every detail necessary to see what was coming, yet didn’t, which is plot-­making of the highest order.
-NY Times

Synopsis

Attending a New England summer camp as an adolescent, young Erik Schroder - a first generation East German immigrant - adopts a new name and a new persona - Eric Kennedy - in the hopes that it will help him fit in. This fateful white lie will set him on an improbable and ultimately tragic course.

Schroder relates the story of Eric's urgent escape years later through the New England countryside with his six-year-old daughter, Meadow, in an attempt to outrun the authorities amidst a heated custody battle with his wife, who will soon discover that her husband is not who he says he is. From a correctional facility, Eric surveys the course of his life in order to understand - and maybe even explain - his behaviour; the painful separation from his mother in childhood; a harrowing escape to America with his taciturn father; a romance that withered under a shadow of lies; and his proudest moments and greatest regrets as a flawed but loving father.

 

About Amity Gaige

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Amity Gaige is the author of O My Darling and The Folded World. Her essays, articles and stories have appeared in various publications including the Yale Review, The Literary Review, Los Angeles Times and O Magazine. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a McDowell Colony Fellowship, and a Baltic Writing Residency Fellowship, and is currently the Visiting Writer at Amherst College. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family.
 
Published February 26, 2013 by Faber & Faber. 290 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Schroder
All: 9 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Dee on Mar 01 2013

...the item that brings about Schroder’s downfall is perfect, both dramatic and mundane. The reader will realize that he or she has been given every detail necessary to see what was coming, yet didn’t, which is plot-­making of the highest order.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Feb 11 2013

Ms. Gaige wisely avoids any narrative detachment in “Schroder.” We are so deeply inside Eric’s thoughts that it becomes mesmerizingly difficult to see when he began lapsing into the verboten.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Sadie Jones on Mar 29 2013

This is not to say the novel is derivative; it is contemplative, poetic certainly, but the narrative is urgent and concise and Gaige's storytelling effortlessly spontaneous.

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WSJ online

Below average
on Feb 01 2013

Even more irritating are the pretentious meditations on Time and Memory that, like the mythologizing, lend an air of faux-profundity to the book's tedious non-events.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by John Freeman on Feb 08 2013

There are many remarkable things about Schroder, but most impressive is the amount of sympathy it wrings from a grim, all too familiar scenario: a custody battle that has spun out of control.

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The Economist

Above average
on Feb 23 2013

Linking too obviously to the symbolism of the cold-war Germany that Eric left behind, with its metaphors of flight and division, is the only misstep. Readers do not need such neat explanations to follow this flawed yet caring father.

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Ellen Wernecke on Apr 01 2013

Schroder may make readers’ skin crawl, but its handling of its main character is too gentle, its target out of focus.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Miranda Hill on Feb 12 2013

Gaige has managed an excellent feat of storytelling, creating a flawed and compelling character who is at once distinct and individual and a symbol of our society.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Miranda Hill on Feb 08 2013

Gaige has managed an excellent feat of storytelling, creating a flawed and compelling character who is at once distinct and individual and a symbol of our society. Schroder will make you look differently and more deeply at headlines and custody battles and your response to them.

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Reader Rating for Schroder
66%

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