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The Smash-Up: A Novel Kindle Edition
“Borrow names and plot elements from Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome. Satirize progressive parenting and education à la Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Then light it all up with the feminist fire ignited by the Brett Kavanaugh hearings—and what do you get? A fun, timely novel that’s unexpectedly full of hope.”—People
“It is not the transposition of that well-trod narrative and its character types that compels; it is the contrast sharpened in the act. . . . Benjamin doesn’t remake Ethan Frome so much as she contends with it. The Smash-Up is an homage and a critique. . . . An astute commentary on the differences between Wharton’s time and ours.”—Los Angeles Times
“The story’s day-by-day format builds a brisk page-turning momentum. . . . Benjamin has a keen eye and ear for the revealing cultural detail, whether it’s billionaire couples critiquing their children’s school reading lists at parents’ night or someone in their 20s working some questionable side hustles in the gig economy. It’s as if she Marie Kondo’d her scenes to keep only the elements that would bring readers some joy.”—WBUR, The ARTery
“Just when you think you know where this narrative is going, Benjamin flips the script expertly. . . . In her fantastic adult debut, YA and middle grade author Benjamin (The Next Great Paulie Fink) skewers her subjects but still preserves their humanity. New York expats, middle-aged Gen-Xers, disaffected millennials, conniving school moms, exasperating children with improbable names—all get the gimlet eye in this timely, witty novel.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Ambitious . . . With satire and suspense, Benjamin handily encapsulates the incomprehension, sadness, and rage of the Trump era.”—Publishers Weekly
“A hypertopical, semisatirical, Ethan Frome–inspired portrait of a family on the edge . . . cleverly constructed . . . pack(s) an emotional punch.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Funny, withering, and devastating . . . Punching neither up nor down but to the side, Benjamin (The Thing About Jellyfish) takes aim at a contemporary attitude that would have flummoxed Edith Wharton. As one of Benjamin’s characters puts it, ‛When did we all fall so in love with our own opinions?’ ”—Shelf Awareness
“A contemporary reflection on power and sex . . . Benjamin’s immediately engaging writing captures the complicated emotions and biting humor of these bruising times and their impact on relationships.”—Booklist
About the Author
- ASIN : B088QNKHF4
- Publisher : Random House (February 23, 2021)
- Publication date : February 23, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 4603 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 331 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #565,179 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Ethan’s wife, Zo, is so enraged by the national political scene that she’s transformed their home into a local headquarters for the Resistance. His college roommate and former business partner faces #metoo allegations, sending Ethan into increasingly desperate financial straits. His unruly, headstrong daughter, Alex, grows more challenging by the day.
Enter Maddy Silver—a breezy, blue-haired millennial making her way through the gig economy. Suddenly Ethan and Zo must question everything: their past, their future, their marriage, and what they value most. And all the while, a world-rocking cultural smash-up inches ever closer to home.
Inspired by a classic Edith Wharton novella about a strained marriage in a small town, The Smash-Up is at once an intimate, moving portrait of a family in distress, a vivid examination of our roiling national rancor, and a powerful exploration of how the things we fail to notice can shatter a family, a community, and a nation.
The opening lines of The Smash-Up pose a question: What happened? Those words remind me of how I felt in 2016…and then later, in 2018, as inexplicable events unfolded. A world I could not imagine or accept.
As we follow the journey of Zo and Ethan and their daughter Alex, we see how these events changed lives into something almost twisted. How will these characters survive the world that they are now protesting?
I enjoyed watching the characters as they traverse these changes around them, dealing with things as much as possible, but also struggling. Their livelihoods are at risk and how their family moves forward, even as they remember the events of the past that brought them together, might be impossible.
A beautifully written story that kept me turning pages, I give this one 5 stars for how it gripped and resonated with me.