Calvin Moretti can't believe how much his life sucks. Read more...
Calvin Moretti can't believe how much his life sucks. He's a twenty-four-year-old film school dropout living at home again and working as an assistant teacher at a preschool for autistic kids. His insufferable go-getter older brother is also living at home, as is his kid sister, who's still in high school and has just confided to Cal that she's pregnant. What's more, Calvin's father, a career pilot, is temporarily grounded and obsessed with his own mortality. and his ever-stalwart mother is now crumbling under the pressure of mounting bills and the imminent loss of their Sleepy Hollow, New York, home: the only thing keeping the Morettis moored. Can things get worse? Oh, yes, they can.
Which makes it all the more amazing that The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac is not only buoyantly fun but often very, very funny. In this debut novel, Kris D'Agostino has crafted an engrossing contemporary tale of a loopy but loving family, and in Calvin Moretti, he's created an oddball antihero who really wants to do the right thing--if he can just figure out what it is.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-01-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Calvin Moretti is plagued with suburban angst. He still lives at home, works as an assistant at a school for autistic kids, and hasn’t finished graduate school, for which he’s now saddled with debt. Despite being fortunate enough to live in a million-dollar home in upstate New York’s tony Sleepy Hollow, he can’t stand his loving-if-irksome family: the successful older brother, Chip; the beleaguered but devoted mother; the infuriating, depressed father recovering from cancer after expensive treatment. Thankfully, Calvin is human enough to tolerate his pregnant 17-year old sister, Elissa, and a host of childhood stoner friends. Apathetic to the core and wildly frustrating, Calvin is a difficult character to like but also brutally honest about his flaws, which makes him heartbreakingly human, more like his father than he realizes and kinder than he wants to be. D’Agostino’s narrator wants to “know how it feels to be passionate about something” and his keen observations about family expose the worst in him. Wickedly funny and as often beautiful as it is meandering, this debut novel reads much like Calvin’s life: bursts of activity followed by long periods of idleness and deep thought. Agent: Ethan Bassoff, Inkwell Management. (Mar.)