Snapshots engages our endless fascination with what goes on behind other people's closed doors. It's that particularly American brand of literature that puts the ideal middle-class suburban family under a microscope and exposes the heartaches, fears, and secrets not visible to the naked eye.
William Norris's first novel is a portrait of the Mahoneys as they appear in 1997, then working back through twenty-five years, filling in the rich, deep hues of the life that has shaped their relationships. And in the shadows of alcoholism, homosexuality, and mental illness, the Mahoneys love and hate one another, save one another, and break one another's hearts. Norris lays bare the secrets that mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters keep from themselves and each other, and ultimately tells a hopeful story about the bonds of flesh and blood and shared experience. A story about the real, hard-won joy of family.
SNAPSHOTS: A NOVEL
The mother, always an early riser, finds it difficult to sleep much past six as she grows older. This day, Christmas Eve morning, she is up once again with the seabirds; their songs melding with the creaks and moans of this old beach house, winterized, finally, for these retirement years. Careful not to wake her still slumbering husband, she stretches her limbs, eases to a sitting position, slowly gets to her feet. This effort, she thinks, is what it is to be old.
Half a world away, Sean, the only son, hails a black cab in a London already empty for Christmas. "Heathrow Terminal Four," he tells the driver. He settles back to watch the city shrink down into suburbs as the cab shoots out the M1. Molly, the woman he loves, the woman who he still cannot believe loves him, left earlier, bound for her own family in Ireland. Shell join him in a few days, her seventh or eighth trip over now, and he knows hell find himself marveling at how much he ...
If you liked Snapshots, try these:
The Corrections brings an old-fashioned world of civic virtue and sexual inhibitions into violent collision with the era of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental health care, and globalized greed.
At once nostalgic and refreshingly original, The Family Tree is a sophisticated story of one woman and the generations of women who came before her and whose legacy shaped her life and its emotional landscape.
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