Stranger, Father, Beloved by Taylor Larsen

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At the heart of this novel is a family of individuals working to keep everyone else happy, even if it means sacrificing something of themselves in the process. Larsen captures every nuance with finesse, every emotion with grace. An emotionally intelligent family drama that examines the breaking point of a marriage.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In the tradition of Tom Perrotta’s Little Children, a “mesmerizing, unsparing” (Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!) debut novel about a wealthy man who has reached a crossroads after a lifetime of repression and denial, sending him—and his family—into a slow spiral towards a total breakdown.

When Michael sees his wife Nancy chatting with a stranger at a party, his intuition tells him that he’s watching her with the man she should have married. He quickly begins a campaign to replace himself within his own family with this other man—who, to him, is worthier, better, and kinder—all so his faithful wife Nancy, his beautiful teenage daughter Ryan, and his young son Max can live the lives they deserve.

While Michael pursues this man’s friendship, Ryan goes through a period of sexual awakening and rebellion and distances herself from her family, and the quiet, weak Nancy becomes increasingly befuddled and frustrated by the behaviors of her husband and daughter. As tension and uncertainty build in their home, the James family slowly unravels.

With the quiet intensity of the film American Beauty and the emotional sensitivity of Lorrie Moore, Taylor Larsen creates a powerful and moving story about the fracturing of a family and its descent into chaos.
 

About Taylor Larsen

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Taylor Larsen is a graduate of Columbia University's MFA program in fiction writing. Taylor taught fiction writing at Columbia University as part of the Columbia Artist/Teachers faculty and at The Sackett Street Writers Workshop, as well as literature courses for Pace University. Stranger, Father, Beloved is her first novel. Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, she currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published July 12, 2016 by Gallery Books. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 13 2016

At the heart of this novel is a family of individuals working to keep everyone else happy, even if it means sacrificing something of themselves in the process. Larsen captures every nuance with finesse, every emotion with grace. An emotionally intelligent family drama that examines the breaking point of a marriage.

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