Red Hook Road
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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.
others playing it, too. One teenage girl who’d sucked her lower lip the whole time. Another who had made so many mistakes she’d been led away after the first movement. But Iris could not remember ever having heard her own daughter attempt this piece. The two movements were short, no more than eight minutes because of how fast Samantha was playing, and when she drew out her final, climactic note, her face was damp with sweat. Iris leaped to her feet and shouted, “Brava! Brava!” The audience
grandfather.” Iris was clearly trying to appear civilized and reasonable, but Ruthie could hear a note of something like expectation in her tone. “I mean, you know, outside of the hospital. Like, will you guys have dinner together?” “Are you asking if I plan on dating your father while he’s here? No. I doubt it.” “If we had the Fourth of July celebration this year, we could invite him.” “No, Ruthie.” “Why not?” “Are you serious? Because your grandfather is in the hospital, and I don’t have
he’d known for a while that he was through, and he quit without much objection, although with a significant amount of regret. He had never stopped missing it, and now, more than ever, he ached to be back in the ring. “Hey, buddy!” called the ham-and-egger behind the desk. “I said, can I help you?” “You got a nice-looking gym here,” Daniel said. “Yeah. So?” Daniel looked around, wishing that he could once again contract his life to this room, these smells, that he could climb into the ring
robber in the sperm bank a dozen times. They’d remind one another about practical jokes John had played on them. The guys, as sad as they were, as much as they missed their friend, always ended up laughing, especially once they’d had a few. And if Matt rarely laughed out loud with them, as long as he was sitting on that barstool he felt okay. He felt like he was close to his brother. He was dreading the end of the summer, dreading the prospect of going back to college and being surrounded by
around the television. Another played cards. A young man wearing a red T-shirt with a line drawing of a bulldozer and the words “Boston, Can You Dig It?” sat on a sofa next to an older woman in a pink velour sweat suit and matching slippers. He held an elastic band in his mouth and was smoothing the older woman’s peroxide-blond hair with his fingers. Iris watched, transfixed, as he executed a perfect French braid. “Look how pretty you are, Mom,” he said, after he snapped the band on the end of