When newlyweds are killed in a freak accident between the church and the reception, their families, an uneasy mix at best, must find a way to come together in their grief. The book follows them over four summers as they grapple with the sadness they share and the class and cultural divide they’ve ignored or denied for years. The coastal Maine setting is as vividly drawn as each of the characters, which is saying a lot. Each member of both families will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.
July 2010 Indie Next List
“Ayelet Waldman is one of those very rare authors who gets better with each book that she writes. Covering four summers in the lives of two families united by tragedy, Red Hook Road is a challenging book to read, but a rewarding book to have read.”
— Martin Sorensen, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
A rich and rewarding story of love, loss, and the power of family from the bestselling author of Bad Mother and Love and Other Impossible Pursuits.
In the aftermath of a devastating wedding day, two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, find their lives unraveled by unthinkable loss. Over the course of the next four summers in Red Hook, Maine, they struggle to bridge differences of class and background to honor the memory of the couple, Becca and John. As Waldman explores the unique and personal ways in which each character responds to the tragedy—from the budding romance between the two surviving children, Ruthie and Matt, to the struggling marriage between Iris, a high strung professor in New York, and her husband Daniel—she creates a powerful family portrait and a beautiful reminder of the joys of life.
Elegantly written and emotionally gripping, Red Hook Road affirms Waldman’s place among today’s most talented authors.
About the Author
AYELET WALDMAN is the author of Daughter’s Keeper, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and the New York Times bestseller Bad Mother. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York, Elle, Vogue, and other publications, and on Salon.com. She and her husband, the novelist Michael Chabon, live in Berkeley, California, with their four children.
“Excellent. . . . A compelling, unique story. . . . Grabs the reader right away.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Lovely. . . . Memorable. . . . Waldman’s vivid writing makes the reader feel a part of both the wildly beautiful Maine coast and two families’ heart-crushing grief.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Waldman writes beautifully. . . . [She] keeps her eyes on the road, carrying us into dark territory with wisdom and grace.” —The Washington Post
“You won’t be able to tear yourself away.” —Real Simple
“This beautiful novel shows us how families cope with the most painful kinds of loss and reminds us that even as grief fractures, it can pave the way for unexpected grace.” —Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier and Songs Without Words
“Waldman knits [relationships] together with the pleasing symmetry of a doily. . . . She also constructs an impressive parallel between the vocations of shipbuilding and playing a stringed instrument. . . . Readers will enjoy the ride.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Articulately plumbs the depths of the parent-child bond with clarity and intense feeling.” —USA Today
“Waldman writes with practiced skill. . . . It’s a love story, a tragedy, a family saga, as well as a novel about class conflict that pits two stubborn, controlling women against one another.” —The Boston Globe
“Terrific. . . . Waldman’s prose style is lovely and fresh. . . . This book made me happy, and happy to be alive.” —Pat Conroy, Amazon.com Review
“With the careful attention of a movie director, Waldman renders a panoramic scene of a wedding. . . . Lyrical descriptions.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“A handbook offering all the varieties of responding to loss. . . . A literary puzzle with rich and emotional rewards. . . . Delicate and insistent. . . . Red Hook Road proves life and art are worth it.” —Bookslut
“[An] engagingly complex examination of two close families.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Moving. . . . [A] wise and beautifully written book.” —Downeast.com
“Searing. . . . All of the characters are acutely rendered. . . . One of the pleasures of the book is in its detailed description of work: boat building, boxing, teaching and learning music. Sometimes, it suggests, what saves us is the work of our stubborn hands.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Elegant and riveting. . . . A masterful imagining of the way a single tragic event impacts the psyches and behaviors and dynamics of two families.” —Kelly Korrigan, author of The Middle Place and Lift