Little Children: A Novel

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Tom Perrotta's thirty-ish parents of young children are a varied and surprising bunch. There's Todd, the handsome stay-at-home dad dubbed "The Prom King" by the moms of the playground; Sarah, a lapsed feminist with a bisexual past, who seems to have stumbled into a traditional marriage; Richard, Sarah's husband, who has found himself more and more involved with a fantasy life on the internet than with the flesh and blood in his own house; and Mary Ann, who thinks she has it all figured out, down to scheduling a weekly roll in the hay with her husband, every Tuesday at 9pm. They all raise their kids in the kind of sleepy American suburb where nothing ever seems to happen-at least until one eventful summer, when a convicted child molester moves back to town, and two restless parents begin an affair that goes further than either of them could have imagined. Unexpectedly suspenseful, but written with all the fluency and dark humor of Perrotta's previous novels, Little Children exposes the adult dramas unfolding amidst the swingsets and slides of an ordinary American playground.
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Soon to be an HBO series starring Kathryn Hahn!

“Light, zingy, and laugh-out-loud funny” (People), the New York Times bestselling novel about sex, love, and identity as seen through the eyes of a middle-aged woman and her college freshman son.

A forty-six-year-old divorcee whose beloved only child has just left for college, Eve Fletcher is struggling to adjust to her empty nest. One night she receives a text from an anonymous number that says, “U R my MILF!” Over the months that follow, that message comes to obsess Eve. While leading her all-too-placid life—serving as Executive Director of the local senior center and taking a community college course on Gender and Society—Eve can’t curtail her own interest in a porn website that features the erotic exploits of ordinary, middle-aged women like herself. Before long, Eve’s online fixations begin to spill over into real life, revealing new romantic possibilities that threaten to upend her quiet suburban existence.

Meanwhile, miles away at the state college, Eve’s son Brendan—a jock and aspiring frat boy—discovers that his new campus isn’t nearly as welcoming to his hard-partying lifestyle as he had imagined. Only a few weeks into his freshman year, Brendan is floundering in a college environment that challenges his white-dude privilege and shames him for his outmoded, chauvinistic ideas of sex. As the New England autumn turns cold, both mother and son find themselves enmeshed in morally fraught situations that come to a head on one fateful November night.

“The sweetest and most charming novel about pornography addiction and the harrowing issues of sexual consent that you will probably ever read” (The New York Times Book Review), Mrs. Fletcher is a timeless examination of sexuality, identity, parenthood, and the big clarifying mistakes people can make when they’re no longer sure of who they are or where they belong. “Tom Perrotta’s latest might just be his best” (NPR).
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book for 2011
A USA Today 10 Books We Loved Reading in 2011 Title
One of NPR's 10 Best Novels of 2011

What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down?

That's what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened—not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children.

Kevin Garvey, Mapleton's new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin's own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne. Only Kevin's teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she's definitely not the sweet "A" student she used to be. Kevin wants to help her, but he's distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start.

With heart, intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives, Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers is a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss.

3.8
91 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Apr 1, 2007
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781429907828
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Edward is nearly four years old when he begins his slow, painful withdrawal from the world. For those who love him -- his father, Jack, and mother, Rachel, pregnant with their third child -- the transformation of their happy, intelligent firstborn into a sleepless, feral stranger is a devastating blow, one that brings enormous ramifications not just for Edward and his parents, but also for their younger son, Matt, and soon-to-be-born daughter.
A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards follows this nuclear family as Rachel and Jack try to come to terms with their son's descent into autism (or something like it) and struggle to sustain their marriage under this unanticipated strain. Threaded through the novel, too, is the story of Rachel's deceased uncle Mickey, who may have suffered from a similar disorder at a time when parenting, pediatrics, and ideas about child psychology were entirely different from today's. As Rachel delves into her own family history in search of answers, flashbacks to Mickey's life afford moving insight into the nature of childhood disorders and the coping mechanisms of different families.
A spellbinding, brilliantly nuanced portrait of a marriage and a family, this compelling drama also poses provocative, real-life questions: How much should a mother sacrifice for her children? How much intervention is too much? When do parents' ambitions for their offspring become counterproductive, even destructive? Who should decide what is best for the child? Is it ever worth sacrificing a marriage for a child?
A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards is a carefully crafted, compulsively readable, emotional page-turner that reveals a remarkable gift for language and storytelling and enormous insight into the complexities and dilemmas of domestic life and parenthood. It is a striking exploration of love, faith, and sacrifice that will resonate with readers everywhere.
The author of Mulligan Stew presents “a savage, baffling and beguiling novel about the wreckage that infidelity leaves behind” (Kirkus Reviews).
 
Borrowing its title from a William Carlos Williams poem, A Strange Commonplace lays bare the secrets and dreams of characters whose lives are intertwined by coincidence and necessity, possessions and experience.
 
From the boozy 1950s to the culturally vacuous present, through the jungle of city streets and suburban bedroom communities, lines blur between families and acquaintances, violence and love, hope and despair. As fathers try to connect with their children, as writers struggle for credibility, as wives walk out, and an old man plays Russian roulette with a deck of cards, their stories resonate with poignancy and savage humor—familiar, tragic, and cathartic.
 
“One never expects traditional plots from Sorrentino . . . but one can usually count on wit, vigorous prose, and an unflinchingly bleak take on life. . . . The novel is divided into fifty-two discrete parts—a dazzlingly original deck of cards.” —The New Yorker
 
“[Sorrentino] can be cutting in his satire, and bullying in his eroticism, and now adds anger to the mix as he portrays a circle of struggling New Yorkers living back in the sexist, alcohol-sodden, and hypocritical 1950s on into the egomaniacal present.” —Booklist
 
“Sorrentino [is] a writer like no other. He’s learned, companionable, ribald, brave, mathematical, at once virtuosic and somehow without ego.” —Jeffrey Eugenides
 
“For decades, Gilbert Sorrentino has remained a unique figure in our literature. He reminds us that fiction lives because artists make it.” —Don DeLillo
A Huffington Post “2017 Hottest Reads of The Summer” Pick

“Taylor Larsen creates a powerful and moving story about the fracturing of a family and its descent into chaos. A brilliant debut of self-delusion, and a perfectly flawed male character spiraling downward.” —Huffington Post

An “emotionally intelligent family drama” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), in the tradition of Tom Perrotta’s Little Children, about a wealthy man who reaches a crossroads after a lifetime of repression, sending his family into a slow spiral towards a breakdown.

When Michael James sees his wife Nancy chatting with a stranger at a party, his intuition tells him that he’s watching her with the man she should have married. He quickly begins a campaign to replace himself within his own family with this other man—who, to him, is worthier, better, and kinder—all so his faithful wife Nancy, his beautiful teenage daughter Ryan, and his young son Max can live the lives they deserve.

While Michael pursues this man’s friendship, Ryan goes through a period of sexual awakening and rebellion and distances herself from her family, and the quiet, weak Nancy becomes increasingly befuddled and frustrated by the behaviors of her husband and daughter. As tension and uncertainty build in their home, the James family slowly unravels.

With the quiet intensity of the film American Beauty and the emotional sensitivity of Lorrie Moore, Taylor Larsen creates a powerful and moving story about the fracturing of a family and its descent into chaos.
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