From Publishers Weekly
Tensions, lies and hypocrisy lurk beneath the cool exteriors of Totten Crossing, Conn., in this fine new novel of suburbia from Amidon (The New City
). In an effort to keep up with the Joneses, fading real estate broker Drew Hagel sinks all his money into a hedge fund that goes bust. Meanwhile, his second wife, psychologist Ronnie, is pregnant with twins, and his teenage daughter, Shannon, is experiencing first love with Ian, one of Ronnie's young patients, whose mother died of cancer when he was 14, leaving him a large sum of insurance money that he will inherit when he turns 18. Ian's uncle, David, a decent man with few prospects, plans on using the inheritance to fulfill his dream of owning a bar in North Carolina. Finally, Carrie Manning has grown restless and uncomfortable with her broker husband's wealth and embarks on a brief affair. All these lives collide on one fateful night when Ian accidentally strikes and kills a bicyclist while driving home from an end-of-year high school party; the vehicle belongs to Jamie, Carrie's hard-drinking teenage son. It all sounds a bit like Peyton Place
, but Amidon's intentions are far more serious. Writing with a sociologist's insight, he crafts a sharp page-turner mined with moments of dark satire. Amidon's previous novels had moments of profundity, but this exceptional novel delves deeper and more passionately into the fractured lives of people whose lives revolve around money. Its impact lingers long after the final credits roll.
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is a novel whose large scope belies its small setting. Several critics praised Amidon (The New City
) for moving beyond the well-trodden paths of suburban angst, creating instead unique characters whose troubles connect them to the wider world. Though the plot may get frothy at times, most reviewers felt that Amidon balanced its twists with keen observations that gave the novel social import. One critic found the novel shallow, but hers is a dissenting voice. Consensus pronounces Human Capital
if not a classic, at least a very good read.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.