Littlefield, Massachusetts, named one of the Ten Best Places to Live in America, full of psychologists and college professors, is proud of its fine schools, its girls' soccer teams, its leafy streets, and charming village center. Read more...
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More About The Dogs of Littlefield by Suzanne BerneOverviewA "brilliantly done" (Sunday Times, London) comedy of manners that explores the unease behind the manicured lawns of suburban America from the Orange Prize-winning author of A Crime in the Neighborhood.
Littlefield, Massachusetts, named one of the Ten Best Places to Live in America, full of psychologists and college professors, is proud of its fine schools, its girls' soccer teams, its leafy streets, and charming village center.
Yet no sooner has sociologist Dr. Clarice Watkins arrived to study the elements of "good quality of life" than someone begins poisoning the town's dogs. Are the poisonings in protest to an off-leash proposal for Baldwin Park--the subject of much town debate--or the sign of a far deeper disorder? Certainly these types of things don't happen in Littlefield.
With an element of suspense, satirical social commentary, and in-depth character portraits, Suzanne Berne's nuanced novel reveals the discontent concealed behind the manicured lawns and picket fences of darkest suburbia. The Dogs of Littlefield is "a compelling, poignant yet unsentimental novel that examines life, love, and loss" (Sunday Mirror, UK).
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Berne (A Crime in the Neighborhood), winner of the Orange Prize (now called the Baileys Womens Prize for Fiction), has done it again with her latest insightful, character-driven novel about life in modern suburbia. Littlefield, Mass., is an idyllic village with a tight community of middle class residentslisted on the Wall Street Journals list of the 20 best places to live in America. Dr. Clarice Watkins, a sociocultural anthropologist, moves to Littlefield in order to study what good quality of life looks like, a stark contrast to her usual studies in poverty-stricken areas. However, Littlefields picturesque bubble has been shattered by a spate of dogs poisonings, possibly related to the towns heated debates over opening an off-leash area in its park. Clarice quietly observes the machinations of daily life in the quiet town as the residents, including her neighbors, Hedy Fischman and Margaret Downing, go about their lives as normal, gossiping, gardening, and taking their children to soccer games. Things arent always as they seem, and Littlefield has its share of struggling marriages, sullen teenagers, and scandalizing affairs. Although the dog poisoning mystery drives the narrative, the novel works best when Berne applies her perceptive tongue-in-cheek voice to the foibles of suburban life, hilariously depicting quotidian problems and trivialities. The resolution of who is poisoning Littlefields dogs is almost an afterthought in this thoughtful satire filled with unforgettable characters. Agent: Colleen Mohyde, Doe Coover Agency. (Jan.)