"The Storm at the Door is one of the bravest and most beautiful books I have ever read. It's a wholly original hybrid --by turns a fictional account of the love story of Frederick and Katharine Merrill, a terrifying tour of the "horrorland" of the Mayflower Home for the Mentally Ill, a lucid translation of madness, and a grandson's quest to understand "the blank page" of his family's past. Stefan Merrill Block's language soars--he's got a wingspan that covers three generations. Refusing to be "paralyzed by fact," Block moves nimbly between fact and fiction, history and the imagination, to get at truths that are almost unbearable: that love can fail, that a mind can immolate, and that language can sometimes leave us lonelier than our original silence. This is a powerful, enthralling and unforgettable book."
-- Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!
"The Storm at the Door is a fascinating exploration of Stefan Merrill Block's family history, both of what actually and what might've happened following his grandmother's fateful decision to commit his manic depressive grandfather to a mental institution. Told with intelligence, a poetic ear for language, and empathy, The Storm at the Door is a captivating story about separation and enduring love."
--Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice
“The Storm at the Door is a brilliant and passionate examination of the outer limits of language, sanity, and the human heart. At its center is the heartbreaking love story of a writer's lost grandparents, an enduring marriage interrupted by madness, sustained by language and memories. Stefan Merrill Block is an amazing writer, at once cerebral and tender, lyrical and profound. The Storm at the Door is an enthrallingly original book.”
--Kate Christensen, author of The Grea...
"A great love story . . . a beautiful book."―NPR
"Powerful, enthralling, unforgettable."―Karen Russell, author of "Swamplandia!"
"Brilliant . . . [a] heartbreaking love story of an enduring marriage . . . Stefan Merrill Block is an amazing writer, at once cerebral and tender, lyrical and profound."--Kate Christensen, author of "The Great Man, " winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award
"Remarkable . . . Alternating between Frederick's struggles on the ward and Katharine's efforts at home with their children, "The Storm at the Door" is a richly imagined, haunting account of how the mind can betray the heart, and vice versa."--"People" (four stars)
"A remarkable work of literary fiction, a beguiling look at the interstices of language and sanity, memory and history."--Associated Press
"[Block] masterfully pulls the reader through this heartbreaking story, making readers care deeply about what happens to his characters, as flawed as they are at times. It's this generation's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
"Beguiling . . . a sharply perceptive, at times wrenching portrait of a marriage.""--The Boston Globe"