From Publishers Weekly
A house in Point Royal, Va., serves to entangle two families in clannish chaos. When local handyman Oliver Ward is summoned for a job at the house of Holly Grey and her aunt Fiona, he has no idea what to make of the two squabbling, headstrong old ladies who want to divide—literally—their house in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The two are known as "the Crazies" by Holly's son, bookstore owner Will Butterfield, and his wife, high school teacher Elizabeth, who are growing weary of their antics. But they pay Oliver, who begins working at the ladies' house. Oliver's daughter, policewoman and single mother Alison, is later called in to help talk Holly off the roof during a drunken dispute. Meanwhile, Will's grown children, Mark and Gail, from his first marriage (to another Elizabeth, who abandoned the family) are in disagreement over whether they should hunt down their long-gone mother. There are digressions: Gail's sexual identity is an open question; Elizabeth's students are fractious; Will finds himself tempted by a sexy, none-too-stable bartender. When Oliver has a stroke on the job, the two families are thrown together at Holly and Fiona's as the Thanksgiving holiday draws nigh. Author of nine novels and five story collections, Bausch (Wives & Lovers
) engages stock characters and a predictable theme of holiday forgiveness this time out, but he injects some crackle into the heartwarming elements. (Oct.)
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“Bausch’s engagingly deranged characters hold our attention . . . in one of his more interesting and readable longer fictions.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Beautifully told. ... Bausch supplies plenty to go around, just as one would wish on any Thanksgiving night. ” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
“It’s a subtle, slyly accomplished feat, and Bausch brings his disparate storylines together in a powerfully moving finale.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
“Kooky relatives, drunken antics, and near-death experiences are fodder enough for three tomes. For this, we are thankful.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Bracing, unapologetically old-fashioned. Bausch’s novel is also filled with sudden displays of emotion.” (New York Times Book Review)
“(A) satisfying feast of a book that feels authentic and wise.” (Washington Post Book World)