The Hundred-Year House: A Novel

By Rebecca Makkai

The acclaimed writer of The Borrower returns with a dazzlingly unique, mordantly witty novel concerning the secrets and techniques of an old-money kinfolk and their turn-of-the-century property, Laurelfield.

“Rebecca Makkai is a author to monitor, as sneakily bold as she is unpretentious."
Richard Russo
 
Meet the Devohrs: Zee, a Marxist literary student who detests her mom and dad’ wealth yet however unearths herself residing of their carriage apartment; Gracie, her mom, who claims she will be able to inform your lot in lifestyles through your enamel; and Bruce, her step-father, stockpiling provides for the Y2K apocalypse and endlessly overdue for his tee time. Then there’s Violet Devohr, Zee’s great-grandmother, who they are saying took her personal lifestyles someplace within the mammoth condominium, and whose tremendous oil portrait nonetheless hangs within the eating room.

Violet’s portrait used to be recognized to terrify the artists who resided on the condominium from the Nineteen Twenties to the Nineteen Fifties, whilst it served because the Laurelfield Arts Colony—and this is often precisely the interval Zee’s husband, Doug, is attracted to. An out-of-work educational whose purely desire of a destiny place is securing a booklet deal, Doug is stalled on his biography of the poet Edwin Parfitt, as soon as in place of dwelling on the colony. All he must get the publication again on track—besides a few motivation and self-esteem—is entry to the colony files, rotting away within the attic for many years. but if Doug starts to poke round the place he shouldn’t, he reveals Gracie guards the documents with an odd ferocity, elevating questions about what she can be hiding. The secrets and techniques of the hundred-year apartment may flip every thing Doug and Zee imagine they find out about her relatives on its head—that is, in the event that they have been to ever discover them.

In this brilliantly conceived, bold, and deeply profitable novel, Rebecca Makkai unfolds a generational saga in opposite, best the reader again in time on a literary scavenger hunt as we search to discover the reality approximately those unusual humans and this mysterious residence. With intelligence and humor, a bold narrative strategy, and a lovingly satirical voice, Rebecca Makkai has crafted an unforgettable novel approximately relations, destiny and the fabulous surprises existence can offer.

For readers of Dodie Smith's I trap the Castle

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I most likely didn’t do her justice. ” “That’s no longer what I intended. You’re in love along with her. ” Doug nearly bumped into the guardrail. so that they have been beginning, the inevitable assumptions. He made up our minds to attend lengthy adequate that his solution wouldn’t appear protecting, since it wasn’t, and he wanted Leland to appreciate that. They have been all of the manner around the road by the point he stated, “I am basically now not. ” “I’m simply announcing, the one cause i will be able to imagine to promote a stunning individual like that so brief is that perhaps you’re struggling with anything. ” “Or perhaps she’s relatively loopy. You stroll in while she’s operating, and he or she seems like a homeless individual. She’s obtained pencils in the back of either ears, and pins sticking from her mouth, hair frizzed out. Her scholars are totally dilated. ” “Okay, definite. definite. yet allow me ask you this: Why do you retain strolling in while she’s operating? ” Doug thought of punching Leland within the face, yet made up our minds opposed to it. 26 As Zee looked after handouts ahead of classification, the debate grew shrill within the nook. “It used to be correct there at the screen,” Meghan Dwyer stated. a wise, candy woman who may well truly write. each person used to be grew to become towards her. “And I wouldn’t say it used to be underage stuff. however it was once picture. i do know a few individuals are picturing simply, like, a topless girl leaning on a motor vehicle. yet this used to be, like—” she regarded round, observed Zee immersed in her papers, and mouthed the phrases “—butt-fucking. ” Zee puzzled, in short amazement, if it had all been precise, if she’d easily set issues in movement. yet no, this was once her personal production, her personal monster. She had willed this into being. — close to the top of sophistication, Dev Kapoor raised his hand, a glance on his face like he was once attempting to fend off a headache. He stated, “How come ghosts are consistently from the prior? I suggest, why are they by no means from the longer term? ” the category snickered. Zee suspected his friends had a distinct influence of Dev than she’d gotten from his workmanlike papers. “Go on,” she acknowledged. “A ghost from the long run could have much more at stake. Ghosts from the previous are continually within the Hamlet version, correct? Like, have in mind me and avenge my dying. yet a ghost from the long run goes to be determined. If issues don’t cross correct he won’t be born. ” “Time doesn’t paintings that way,” Fran Leffler stated, after which all of them begun in, telling him he’d watched too many video clips. “Maybe I don’t suggest a ghost. extra like a spirit or a strength. yet besides, my aspect is, a ghost from the long run wouldn’t be frightening, correct? ” Zee stated, “So we’re frightened of the undead, yet no longer the unborn. ” Sarah Bonheur thrust her hand definitively into the air and didn’t wait to be known as on. “A Christmas Carol,” she acknowledged. “By Charles Dickens. The ghost of Christmas destiny is the scariest of all. ” Dev stated, “Oh. Right,” and collapsed again in his chair. yet Antwon Haynes picked up the ball. “That’s an exception. possibly it’s like what we’re terrified of isn’t dying, however the prior. nobody walks through against the law scene the very subsequent day and feels a ghost. It takes 20 years, correct? ” They have been directly to anything, Zee notion. We aren’t haunted by means of the lifeless, yet via the very unlikely succeed in of background.

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