THE EXILES by Allison Lynn


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A fresh start in a new city should signify a positive beginning for a couple and their 10-month-old son, but they soon discover that, though their old possessions disappear when their Jeep Cherokee is stolen, their emotional baggage remains.

Lynn (Now You See It, 2004) explores the thoughts and actions of Nate and Emily, life partners who have been together since the two met at the baggage claim at JFK airport and shared a taxi into New York City. Now parents and no longer able to afford the cost of living in an expensive apartment, the two pack up their Jeep Cherokee and head for a job offer in Newport, R.I. It’s Friday afternoon before Columbus Day weekend, and the couple sign the paperwork for their new house, receive the keys and head back to their vehicle, ready to spend the next few nights camping out on air mattresses in their new home. But the Jeep, and everything in it, is gone. Left with limited cash and burdened by secrets, the couple faces the long weekend emotionally distanced and guilt-ridden. Nate, the son of a famous architect who was absent for much of his life, reflects upon his childhood, his one brief glimpse of his grandfather, his closeness to his younger brother and his mother’s death as he dredges up fears that he’s inherited a genetic disease that could cripple not only his life, but that of his son. Emily’s worried about an incident that occurred before she left NYC, the changes in herself that she has trouble reconciling and how her actions will affect her family’s future. Lynn’s narrative, which depicts the raw emotional impact of deceit and the helplessness of being unable to foretell the future or forestall the inevitable, contains moments that introduce wit and humor to a bleak situation that becomes bleaker by the moment.

The story sometimes strays into descriptions of architectural styles, which may not be of interest to every reader, but this only minimally detracts from the author’s distinctive characters and focus.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-544-10210-1
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Amazon/New Harvest
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2013


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