From award-winning writer Gabrielle Zevin comes a biting, powerful, and deliciously entertaining novel about an American family and their misguided efforts to stay afloat--spiritually, morally, and financially.
Meet the Pomeroys: a church-going family living in a too-red house in a Texas college town. Roger, the patriarch, has impulsively gone back to school, only to find his future ambitions at odds with the temptations of the present. His wife, Georgia, tries to keep things in order at home, but she's been feeding the bill drawer with unopened envelopes for months and can never find the right moment to confront its swelling con tents. In an attempt to climb out of the holes they've dug, Roger and Georgia make a series of choices that have catastrophic consequences for their three children--especially for Patsy, the youngest, who will spend most of her life fighting to overcome them.
The Hole We're In shines a spotlight on some of the most relevant issues of our day--over-reliance on credit, vexed gender-and-class politics, the war in Iraq--but it is Zevin's deft exploration of the fragile economy of family life that makes this a book for the ages.
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March 01, 2010
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Excerpt from The Hole We're In by Gabrielle Zevin
After sex, George couldn't sleep. She went downstairs and prayed for a bit: Dear God, let us all stay healthy. Dear God, let Roger finish his PhD this year. Dear God, let us not have to declare bankruptcy. Dear God, dear God, dear God. In the end, she threw in something about "the poor children in Africa" and "innocent people with AIDS" and "sinners everywhere" just so her prayers didn't seem completely narcissistic.
But she really only meant the first part.
She went into the kitchen. The answering machine light was blinking. It was Vinnie. He apologized for calling so late--the hours in the graduate film program he was attending were very long--but he was interested in the credit card offer and asked George to set it aside for him. He'd get it at Christmas or the next time she had something to send him or whenever.
George thought she had left the application on the counter, but it wasn't there. Turned out to have gotten mixed up with a rough crowd: the bill drawer bills. She was awake and had nothing else to do so she filled it out for him. Like any mother, she knew his name, his date of birth, his social security number, and even the way he signed his name: the extravagant upstroke of the capital V; the tightly packed, indistinct lowercases; the P with its oversized, arrogant loop; the final y, which ended in a flourish, not unlike his father's.