Indie Next ListJune 2012
Haddon is a master craftsman, and one of the great delights of The Red House is the way he seamlessly weaves together a narrative from the perspectives of a number of extremely different individuals. Focusing on two families on a trip to the country -- each with their own issues and secrets -- and the interplay between characters, Haddon has given us another wonderful and surprising novel. -- Carol Schneck, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI
An dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family, from the author of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The set-up of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over.
But because of Haddon's extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but simple. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, "The Red House" becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly-guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt. As we come to know each character they become profoundly real to us. We understand them, even as we come to realize they will never fully understand each other, which is the tragicomedy of every family.
"The Red House" is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner -- a novel sure to entrance the millions of readers of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.