Having read Amity Gaige's previous two books, I anticipated the beauty of her latest novel, Schroder
. What I didn't anticipate was the weightiness of it, her ability to take the slightest moments and the lightest phrases and mold them into matters of great consequence. I also enjoyed Gaige's more substantial plot: this novel, though still quite literary, has the suspense and forward action that were sometimes lacking in her previous two books.
The title, with a bit of irony, refers to the main character, father to six-year-old Meadow, a man living under the alias Eric Kennedy. Not long after his childhood arrival in the United States with his father, Erik Schroder decides to shed his German skin, his German history, and most obviously, his German name to become an American - and not just any American, an American with a most enviable last name....
Beyond the Book
In the interview at the close of the novel, Gaige reveals that an Associated Press snippet about the Clark Rockefeller case was the seed idea for her story. Though Gaige states she chose not to research in detail this tale of a con man turned kidnapper, a great deal of information is readily available via news stories.
Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Gerhartsreiter, rushed his daughter Reigh into a waiting limousine during a supervised custodial visit in July of 2008. Gerhartsreiter's devotion to his daughter was apparently the one thing that could bring down his house of...