"Francine Prose uses her language as a scalpel to dissect the world of pretense, privilege, and bombast. She writes wonderfully and her dialogue is the about the best in the business," wrote reviewer Stephen Dobyns.
This is a book of barbaric rituals of a modern-day New York family, as viewed by their young Haitian au pair. She becomes entangled in a web of deception, delusion, and ultimately, grim discovery. Rosemary is a neurotic mom, newly estranged from her philandering husband. The children have retreated into their own secretive, morbid universe.
It is a razor-sharp reflection of American family behavior. I hope no family you know.
I was facinated and disturbed by these people.
A day after finishing this novel, I'm still unsure if I really liked it or not! It was a fascinating read, though. It took me awhile to get into it but ultimately was worth the time. My favorite aspect of the book was the au pair's relationship with her two young charges. They were very odd and morbid, but somehow more believable to me than many other under-12 characters in books I have read. I'm generally uninterested in children and found myself fascinated by George & Maisie (the kids) and really took a liking to their characters. I do not live in the Northeast but still found a lot of themes to be relevant in my own experiences with those around me, particularly upper middle class people and blended families. At times the novel felt a little forced (animal sacrifices?) but I suppose that's part of the err, charm. I am new to the work of Francine Prose but will examine more of it in the future, I'm sure!
This was a great book. I stayed up all night reading because I couldn't put it down!