On the night of a massive hurricane, three estranged siblings learn that their father is dying. For the first time in years, they convene at their childhood home in upstate New York, where the storm has downed power lines, flooded houses, and destroyed the family's antique store.
The Westfalls are no strangers to dysfunction. But never have their lives felt so out of control. Armie is living in their parents' basement. In Manhattan, Josef, a sex-addicted techie, is struggling to repair his broken relationship with his daughters. Their sister, Charlie, who works in Hollywood as a publicist for a wayward young actress, just learned that her son has been expelled from preschool. Amid the storm, they come together to plan their father's memorial service, only to learn his dying wish--they must sell his priceless Magritte painting. As their failures are laid bare, they discover that hope often lurks in the darkest of places. And so, too, can hilarity.
Complete with an irresistible plot and deeply flawed, affectionately rendered characters, Kris D'Agostino's "sharp, funny novel] conveys the disorienting and ever-shifting effects of grief" (The New York Times) and the unexpected epiphanies that emerge in chaos. This "darkly humorous portrait of the American family under duress...balances scathing and humorous commentary on the foibles of family with keen insight" (Publishers Weekly). Perfect for "fans of funny family dysfunction novels like Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You...and Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest" (Booklist), The Antiques is a heartbreaking, nimble, laugh-out-loud funny send-up of modern family life.
- ISBN-13: 9781501138973
- ISBN-10: 1501138979
- Publisher: Scribner Book Company
- Publish Date: January 2017
- Page Count: 304
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-24
- Reviewer: Staff
In his second novel, DAgostino (The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac) paints a darkly humorous portrait of the American family under duress. In the path of a hurricane sweeping toward Hudson, N.Y., the Westfall family gathers to support patriarch George, whos been given months to live after a bout with cancer. He dies unexpectedly as the storm intensifies. Ana, Georges grieving wife and his partner in an antiques business, and their three children, all with problems of their own, are left to settle the estate by selling off a painting by René Magritte called Conversation in the Sky, which has hung over the mantle for decades. The Westfall children are Charlie, the caretaker of a cheating husband, a developmentally challenged son, and A-list Hollywood actress Melody Montrose; Josef, a sex-addicted tech entrepreneur working halfheartedly to win back the love of his children and his estranged wife; and Armie, a talented woodworker who lives in his parents basement and pines for his high school crush. The antique store and her childrens personal lives in shambles, and Ana experiences a crisis of confidence, wondering how the family will survive. DAgostino balances scathing and humorous commentary on the foibles of family with keen insight into his characters who, despite their myriad flaws, deserve a satisfactory ending to the worst week ever. (Jan.)