THE ANTIQUES by Kris D'Agostino


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Screwed-up siblings rush home to upstate New York to say goodbye to their father during a hurricane.

All members of the Westfall family are in terrible shape, including the dog. Patriarch George has inoperable cancer and is going down fast, spending his last days in his living room contemplating the Magritte he’s owned since 1965, planning to leave his family instructions to sell it and split the profits. “Let them find whatever it is they were looking for in this life. Let them be happy.” No matter what that painting is worth, happiness is going to be a tall order for this crew. Oldest son Josef is a sleazy corporate wheeler-dealer and sexaholic whose wife has left him for a poet; even his kids are beginning to have some doubts about him. Daughter Charlie lives on the West Coast, where she's personal assistant to a demented A-list actress and has an awful French husband and a seriously disturbed son who has just broken another child's arm and been kicked out of preschool. Poor Armie, the youngest, has boomeranged home to his parents’ basement, where he messes around with woodworking and moons over the girl he’s loved since high school. Mother Ana is not only losing her husband—her antiques store is devastated by the storm, and the dog is on his last legs. Having just slid across the kitchen floor after stepping in a puddle of half-digested salmon chunks, she reports to Armie, “There’s blood in his vomit.” “The dog?” “Yes, the dog.” “Not Dad?” “Your father is asleep, I think.” D’Agostino (The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac, 2012) specializes in snappy repartee, with most scenes centered on conversational free-for-alls among the Westfalls and their entourage.

A family in a thoroughly modern mess, played for laughs.

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5011-3897-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2016


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