Author(s): Richard Russo
A major new novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls, this story of parents and children, of family both benevolent and malevolent, of small-town community and its hidden toxic effects, has all the glorious heart we have come to expect from a Russo novel but with a tough new edge and a darker seam of glittering secrets. Louis Charles Lynch, aka Lucy, is sixty years old and has lived in Thomaston, upstate New York, his entire life, married to the same woman, Sarah, for forty years.Like his own father a determined optimist, Lucy has had plenty of reasons not to be but has withstood them all, including his mother, still indomitably alive. Her husband's death dealt the Lynches another setback after they'd moved from the wrong side of the tracks to the right one, yet her brains and that Lynch optimism provided them with 'an empire' of convenience stores that Lucy is now passing to his son. But, as he says, 'the well-established rhythms of our adult lives will soon be interrupted most violently' for he and Sarah are about to leave home and travel to Rome, Florence and Venice, where his oldest friend, once a rival for his wife's affection, leads a life far removed from Thomaston. This is classic Russo, but with a new twist in the character of a painter who gladly traded his family and past away for a life in Europe. The destinies of these three soon-to-be-reunited friends are forged in their hometown in ways that are constantly surprising and utterly revealing. First published 2007.