Swell by Jill Eisenstadt
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

...captures the traumatized Rockaway of the early 2000s in swirling Technicolor, though her zany and colorful characters never quite manage to transcend their laundry lists of quirks to become fully human. But what the novel lacks in nuance, it makes up in heart.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Thirty years after From Rockaway ("A great first novel" --Harper's Bazaar), Jill Eisenstadt returns with a darkly funny new work of fiction that exposes a city and a family at their most vulnerable.

When Sue Glassman's family needs a new home, Sue relents, after years of resisting, and agrees to convert to Judaism. In return, Sue's father-in-law, Sy, buys the family--Sue, Dan, and their two daughters--a capacious but ramshackle beachfront house in Rockaway, Queens, a world away from the Glassmans' cramped Tribeca apartment. The catch? Sy is moving in, too. And the house is haunted.
On the weekend of Sue's conversion party, ninety-year-old Rose, who (literally) got away with murder on the premises years earlier, shows up uninvited. Towing a suitcase-sized pocketbook, having escaped an assisted living facility in Forest Hills, Rose seems intent on moving back in. Enter neighbor Tim--formerly Timmy (see From Rockaway), a former lifeguard, former firefighter, and reformed alcoholic--who feels, for reasons even he can't explain, inordinately protective of the Glassmans.
The collective nervous breakdown occasioned by Rose's return swells to operatic heights in a novel that charms and surprises on every page as it unflinchingly addresses the perils of living in a world rife with uncertainty.
 

About Jill Eisenstadt

See more books from this Author
Jill Eisenstadt is the author of the novels From Rockaway and Kiss Out. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Elle, Boston Review, New York Magazine, and BOMB. She lives in Brooklyn.
 
Published June 6, 2017 by Lee Boudreaux Books. 273 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Swell
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 21 2017

...captures the traumatized Rockaway of the early 2000s in swirling Technicolor, though her zany and colorful characters never quite manage to transcend their laundry lists of quirks to become fully human. But what the novel lacks in nuance, it makes up in heart.

Read Full Review of Swell: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Boris Fishman on Jun 06 2017

...it’s the wise ones who know that in hard times, you grab your people, have one drink too many and obsess over insignificant things. The louder and ruder the chatter, the better.

Read Full Review of Swell: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times
×