Cost: Book summary and reviews of Cost by Roxana Robinson

Cost

A Novel

by Roxana Robinson

Cost by Roxana Robinson X
Cost by Roxana Robinson
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2008
    432 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

When Julia Lambert, an art professor, settles into her idyllic Maine house for the summer, she plans to spend the time tending her fragile relationships with her father, a repressive neurosurgeon, and her gentle mother, who is descending into Alzheimer’s. But a shattering revelation intrudes: Julia’s son Jack has spiraled into heroin addiction.

In an attempt to save him, Julia marshals help from her looseknit clan: elderly parents; remarried ex-husband; removed sister; and combative eldest son. Ultimately, heroin courses through the characters’ lives with an impersonal and devastating energy, sweeping the family into a world in which deceit, crime, and fear are part of daily life.

Roxana Robinson is the author of Sweetwater, which Booklist called a “hold-your-breath novel of loss and love.” Billy Collins praised Robinson as “a master at moving from the art of description to the work of excavating the truths about ourselves.”

In Cost, Robinson tackles addiction and explores its effects on the bonds of family, dazzling us with her hallmark subtlety and precision in evoking the emotional interiors of her characters. The result is a work in which the reader’s sense of discovery and compassion for every character remains unflagging to the end, even as the reader, like the characters, is caught up in Cost’s breathtaking pace.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While the omniscient narration sometimes loses focus, Robinson offers adept closeups of family trauma." - Publishers Weekly.

"Starred Review. As Jack's descent picks up speed toward the end, the Lamberts are drowning in the kind of intolerable grief borne of having to mourn the loss of a loved one before the heart stops beating. Highly recommended." - Library Journal.

"A fictional case study, at once pedantic and riveting." - Kirkus Reviews.

"With passion, feeling, and a keen eye for detail, Roxana Robinson brings chillingly to life a family and a family tragedy, showing us how - like a luminous yet ominous landscape - their tangible visible world can coincide with the invisible, tumultuous world of their emotions. - Lily Tuck, author of The News from Paraguay.

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Author Information

Roxana Robinson Author Biography

roxanarobinson.com

Roxana Robinson is the author of three earlier novels, three collections of short stories, and the biography Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, More, and Vogue, among other publications.

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