Library Journal Review
Victor Tuchman is the family patriarch in this whirling dervish of a novel. The story unfolds on the day he has a fatal heart attack. Victor was a criminal in his business life and a tyrant in his personal life. His wife Barbra, pacing the hospital halls, is counting her steps and recounting their dysfunctional life together. Daughter Alex, an attorney in Chicago, flies to New Orleans, not for a final goodbye but to cajole her mother into spilling the beans about her father's criminality. Gary, Victor's son, is in Los Angeles and deliberately misses his flight, unwilling to say goodbye,--which is understandable, as he rehashes his life with the abusive man lying in the hospital bed. Gary's wife, Twyla, does visit, her mind wandering through her Southern upbringing and a disastrous, shocking affair. Attenberg (All Grown Up) is a master of subtlety as she divulges everyone's thoughts, including the one-off characters such as the clerk at a CVS and the coroner. The unusual twist here is that readers learn all their stories while the characters do not. VERDICT Contemporary family sagas don't get much better than this novel, which should appeal to fans of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections or Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]--Stacy Alesi, Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Lib., Lynn Univ., Boca Raton, FL
Publishers Weekly Review
A patriarch's death strains a family's already fraught relationships in this dazzling novel from Attenberg (All Grown Up). Shady real estate developer Victor Tuchman suffers a heart attack in New Orleans and is rushed to the hospital. During his final, lingering day, his family mentally rehashes key moments of his life in hopes of understanding the man they are losing. His wife, Barbra, still annoyed about leaving their Connecticut mansion, occupies herself with obsessive walking while remembering Victor's quick transition from shy suitor to abusive tyrant. His daughter, Alex, flies in from Chicago, desperate to know the truth about Victor's criminal past, and begrudges her mother's insistence she let it go and make peace. Victor's son Gary, who is in Los Angeles to jump-start his career in the movies, avoids answering calls from the family and intentionally misses his flight. Gary's wife, Twyla, slips into a nervous breakdown during a cosmetic shopping spree, slowly revealing the true root of her distress. As Victor fades, the family's dysfunction comes to light and they make drastic choices about their future. Attenberg excels at revealing rich interior lives--not only for her main cast, but also for cameo characters--in direct, lucid prose. This is a delectable family saga. (Sept.)