Stash: Book summary and reviews of Stash by David Matthew Klein

Stash

by David Matthew Klein

Stash
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2010
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Gwen Raine is a woman readers will instantly recognize: an attractive, thirtyish stay-at-home mom who lives in the kind of tranquil suburban community where the wives spend their days ferrying the kids to and from school and music lessons and nature camps and where the husbands work long, grueling hours at stressful white-collar jobs in order to maintain the upscale standard of living to which the whole family has become all-too-accustomed. It’s a milieu in which everything seems to be right - yet so much can go wrong. 

And it does—starting with a seemingly minor decision that turns Gwen’s perfect life upside down. It’s a typical Friday morning in late summer and Gwen is anticipating a long-awaited weekend away at the lake with her overworked husband, Brian, and their two small children. After dropping her daughter off at swim class, Gwen drives across town to purchase a small bag of marijuana from an old flame. She’s counting on the pot to help her unwind later that night in those precious private moments with Brian after the kids are asleep. Then, on the way home, Gwen gets into a car accident - an accident that leaves her bruised and somewhat battered but leaves the other driver (an elderly man who crossed over into her lane) dead. The local police know the accident isn’t her fault, but when they find the marijuana in Gwen’s car, they throw the book at her. There have been problems with drugs in the schools and they want to crack down on abusers, whoever and wherever they are. Before long, Gwen is in legal hot water - and the temperature keeps rising. Finally, under pressure from the police, her attorney, and her own husband, she reveals her source’s name. 

Meanwhile, Brian is embroiled in a moral and legal dilemma of his own when the big pharmaceutical company he works for markets an anti-anxiety drug for "off-label" use as a weight-loss aid, only to discover that it can have deadly consequences. And Gwen’s former lover Jude, a local restaurateur and the supplier of the stash of the title, has gotten in way over his head with his little side business. 

Told from multiple perspectives and revolving around a diverse set of vividly imagined characters, this rich, ambitious, and deeply satisfying novel takes a mordant look at our society’s ambivalent and often hypocritical attitude toward all manner of mood-altering substances, legal and illegal. Paced by psychological suspense and an ever-thickening plot, Stash ultimately is about the moral complications that arise when a modern woman’s fierce determination to do the right thing collides head-on with human fallibility and desire. 

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Klein paints a sometimes too clinical picture of an idyllic suburban life..." - Publishers Weekly

"Fans of both domestic drama and corporate intrigue will enjoy it." - Library Journal

"A very adult remake of an after-school special that's driven by story, not lessons." - Kirkus

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Reader Reviews

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Mark C

Absorbing
In addition to being a "page turner", this book speaks to the issues surrounding the business of drug development, and the use of "recreational" drugs in our society. The book would be ideal for holding a discussion group. The writing keeps the reader engaged and wanting to know the fate of each the characters. I highly recommend this exciting novel.

William B. (East Peoria, IL)

A Strong Marriage
Very enjoyable first novel, compelling story. I would recommend this for book clubs. The ending, in particular, would be good fodder for conversation.

Bill L. (Hilliard, OH)

What a great book!
Wow! From the first page, I was hooked. What an amazing debut novel by David Klein. The book is filled with twists and turns from the beginning and doesn't disappoint. Klein is able to show how the actions of one person can have consequences for so many others. I highly recommend this book and look forward to Mr. Klein's next novel.

James G. (Warwick, NY)

Stash - The Most Innocent Decisions Often Shape Our Destinies
David Klein's novel drives home the point that bad things often happen to good people. I enjoyed reading this book. My gold standard is simple; character plus conflict equals drama, and drama is the indispensable component for good fiction. Klein's book abounds with believable characters with more than enough conflict to go around melded into a seamless plot-line that strikes at the myth of quiet, peaceful, and boring suburbia. David Klein represents a fresh new voice in the world of fiction, and I look forward to his second novel.

Sharon S. (Stanley, N.C.)

"Stash" by David Klein
In a mere moment everything that is important in the lives of the Raine's family almost goes up in smoke... marijuana smoke that is....

Author David Klein has written a story of middle class life in an idealistic suburb !!! I think NOT!!!!

This read packs a punch from the beginning to the very end ! Just when you think you have it figured out you haven't !!!

So tighten your seat belt on this rollercoaster, and get ready for a fast paced read !

My Book Club can't wait for the release scheduled for early summer !!!

Ruby J

Couldn't put it down!!
A skillfully written novel that had me turning the pages to find out what would happen to a set of characters I really enjoyed reading about.

Each of the major characters has their own compelling story. The characters are realistic and multi-faceted. I found myself contemplating their actions and personalities and liked that they couldn't simply be classified as good or bad people.

Klein's use of language is part of what makes the novel such a pleasure to read. His strong dialogue and detailed descriptions added much to the story.

I found the ending to be very satisfying. While some of the character's stories have a black and white ending, not all do. Life IS full of ambiguities and I think a book that has you thinking about what a character will do after the novel ends is a good thing!

...22 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

David Klein is a native of upstate New York whose short fiction has appeared in a variety of literary magazines. He owns and operates a marketing communications firm in Delmar, New York, where he lives with his wife and two children. He is at work on a second novel.

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