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Harmony
by Carolyn Parkhurst


Overview - " A] provocative page-turner." People
In Parkhurst s deft treatment, Harmony becomes a story of our time. . . Parkhurst cements herself as a writer capable of astonishing humanity and exquisite prose. Washington Post

Gorgeously written and patently original.
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More About Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst
 
 
 
Overview
" A] provocative page-turner." People
In Parkhurst s deft treatment, Harmony becomes a story of our time. . . Parkhurst cements herself as a writer capable of astonishing humanity and exquisite prose. Washington Post

Gorgeously written and patently original. Jodi Picoult, New York Timesbestselling author ofLeaving Time

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel, a taut, emotionally wrenching story of how a seemingly "normal" family could become desperate enough to leave everything behind and move to a "family camp" in New Hampshire--a life-changing experience that alters them forever.
How far will a mother go to save her family? The Hammond family is living in DC, where everything seems to be going just fine, until it becomes clear that the oldest daughter, Tilly, is developing abnormally--a mix of off-the-charts genius and social incompetence. Once Tilly--whose condition is deemed undiagnosable--is kicked out of the last school in the area, her mother Alexandra is out of ideas.
The family turns to Camp Harmony and the wisdom of child behavior guru Scott Bean for a solution. But what they discover in the woods of New Hampshire will push them to the very limit. Told from the alternating perspectives of both Alexandra and her younger daughter Iris (the book's Nick Carraway), this is a unputdownable story about the strength of love, the bonds of family, and how you survive the unthinkable."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399562600
  • ISBN-10: 0399562605
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
  • Publish Date: August 2016
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Family Life
Books > Fiction > Psychological
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-06-27
  • Reviewer: Staff

Parkhurst’s (The Dogs of Babel) latest explores family bonds, modern-day parenting, and the foundations of cult-like groups, all with nuance and a liberal dose of dark humor. Alexandra and Josh Hammond are at the end of their rope with the diagnosis-defying behavioral issues of their 13-year-old daughter, Tilly, until Alexandra discovers the work of Scott Bean, an unorthodox child-development guru with a devoted grassroots following. Now Scott’s invited the Hammonds—Alexandra, Josh, Tilly, and neurotypical younger daughter Iris—to move to a summer camp in rural New Hampshire for families facing similar struggles. At first, the idyllic setting, simpler routines, and Scott’s charismatic leadership prove helpful for the Hammonds and the other families at the newly dubbed Camp Harmony. But as the veneer of Scott’s public persona wears off, and a more controlling, volatile side begins to show, all of Camp Harmony’s residents are forced to confront some harrowing truths about their situation. Told from the viewpoints of Alexandra, Tilly, and Iris, Parkhurst’s memorable tale features a complex cast of characters and a series of conundrums with no easy answers. Book-discussion groups will be particularly interested in the tale’s numerous deftly explored gray areas. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Aug.)

 
BookPage Reviews

A family desperate for refuge and understanding

All Alexandra Hammond wants is to understand and help her daughter. Tilly, who is on the autism spectrum, has needs that exceed what Alexandra and her husband, Josh, know how to provide. They’ve tried patience, talking to their teenage daughter and coaching her through outbursts. They’ve tried therapy. They’ve tried special schools. But no combination of education and treatment works.

So the Hammonds are taking a drastic measure: They’re leaving Washington, D.C., and joining parenting expert Scott Bean and two other families at Camp Harmony, a refuge for families of special-needs children, in New Hampshire. Even if it means giving up independence and privacy, the family is determined to create the best life for Tilly and her younger sister, Iris.

In Harmony, bestselling author Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found) again pulls readers into the hearts of her characters. Although this is decidedly a novel, Parkhurst draws on her own experience as the mother of a child with Asperger’s, making Alexandra’s frustration with her brilliant but difficult-to-reach eldest daughter and resulting desperation ring true. When Scott comes along, she questions how a man with scant credentials and no parenting experience can declare himself a child behavior expert. But if there’s hope, Alexandra can’t help but gravitate to it.

By toggling perspectives of the Hammond family women—Alexandra, Tilly and Iris, who is the primary storyteller—Parkhurst deftly illuminates the narrative. As the family settles in, questions about Scott’s sketchy qualifications become impossible to ignore. The result is a riveting read.

 

This article was originally published in the August 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews