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Cover image for All things cease to appear
Format:
Title:
All things cease to appear
ISBN:
9781101875599

9781101911488

9781410489852
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
Physical Description:
399 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
Upstate New York. George Clare comes home from his position as an art teacher at a private college to find his wife killed and their three-year-old daughter alone. George is the immediate suspect, and a persistent cop is stymied at every turn in proving him a heartless murderer. Three teenage brothers who previously lived in the house become entangled in the investigation. But behind one crime there are others, and more than twenty years will pass before a hard kind of justice is finally served.
Electronic Access:
http://elizabethbrundage.com/
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Available:*

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BRUNDAGE
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FICTION - BRUNDAGE
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FICTION - BRUNDAGE
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FIC BRUNDAGE 2016
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FICTION BRUNDAGE
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FIC BRUNDAGE
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Brundage, E.
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FIC BRUNDAGE
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On Order

Summary

Summary

A dark, riveting, beautifully written book--by "a brilliant novelist," according to Richard Bausch--that combines noir and the gothic in a story about two families entwined in their own unhappiness, with, at its heart, a gruesome and unsolved murder

Late one winter afternoon in upstate New York, George Clare comes home to find his wife killed and their three-year-old daughter alone--for how many hours?--in her room across the hall. He had recently, begrudgingly, taken a position at a nearby private college (far too expensive for local kids to attend) teaching art history, and moved his family into a tight-knit, impoverished town that has lately been discovered by wealthy outsiders in search of a rural idyll.

George is of course the immediate suspect--the question of his guilt echoing in a story shot through with secrets both personal and professional. While his parents rescue him from suspicion, a persistent cop is stymied at every turn in proving Clare a heartless murderer. And three teenage brothers (orphaned by tragic circumstances) find themselves entangled in this mystery, not least because the Clares had moved into their childhood home, a once-thriving dairy farm. The pall of death is ongoing, and relentless; behind one crime there are others, and more than twenty years will pass before a hard kind of justice is finally served.

A rich and complex portrait of a psychopath and a marriage, this is also an astute study of the various taints that can scar very different families, and even an entire community. Elizabeth Brundage is an essential talent who has given us a true modern classic.


Author Notes

ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE graduated from Hampshire College, attended NYU film school, was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and received an MFA as well as a James Michener Award from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has taught at a variety of colleges and universities, most recently at Skidmore College, where she was visiting writer-in-residence. She lives near Albany in upstate New York.

www.elizabethbrundage.com


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Brundage's (bestselling author of The Doctor's Wife) searing, intricate novel epitomizes the best of the literary thriller, marrying gripping drama with impeccably crafted prose, characterizations, and imagery. In 1978, Ella and Calvin Hale respond to their farm's failing fortunes by committing suicide. As their sons, Eddy, Cole, and Wade, are taken in by nearby relatives, their farmhouse in upstate Chosen, N.Y., is bought by outsiders. College professor George Clare, his beautiful wife, Catherine, and their toddler, Franny, buy the house and seem picture-perfect, but appearances deceive. George, an expert in Hudson River painter George Inness (an actual figure, whose artistic theories and Swedenborg-influenced philosophy run through the novel) is a dark soul with a young mistress and a violent history; insecure Catherine takes his abuse until the women's movement helps empower her to leave him. Then George appears at a neighbor's door, announcing that he has found Catherine murdered in their bedroom. Though locals blame him, the crime remains unsolved. Seen as cursed and haunted by its dark history, their house sits abandoned until 2004, when Franny, now a surgical resident, re-encounters painful memories and her former babysitter Cole Hale on a trip to empty it. Moving fluidly between viewpoints and time periods, Brundage's complex narrative requires and rewards close attention. Succeeding as murder mystery, ghost tale, family drama, and love story, her novel is both tragic and transcendent. Agent: Linda Chester, Linda Chester Literary Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

You get in your car, drive to work, park, and go inside. An ordinary dayexcept, back at home, someone is chopping your wife to bits, the opening gambit in Brundage's (A Stranger Like You, 2010, etc.) smart, atmospheric thriller. Here's the thing about creepy old farmhouses: they're full of ghosts, and ax murderers lurk in the tree line. Art history professor George Clare is a rational fellow, but when he moves into the country to teach at a small-town college, he finds his colleagues making odd assumptions: since he knows a thing or two about Swedenborg, then he must be game for a sance. Catherine, his young wife, whose "beauty did not go unnoticed" even out among the yokels, has long since sunk into a quiet depression. They have problems. She doesn't live long enough to grow to hate the country, though she senses early on that the place they've bought from a foreclosed-on local family is fraught with supernatural danger: "Until this house," she thinks, "she'd never thought seriously of ghosts, at all. Yet, as the days passed, their existence wasn't even a question anymoreshe just knew." Yup. Question is, who would do her in, leaving a single grim witness, the terrified daughter? There's no shortage of suspects on the mortal plane, to say nothing of the supernatural. Part procedural, part horror story, part character study, Brundage's literate yarn is full of telling moments: George is like a "tedious splinter" in Catherine's mind, while George dismisses her concerns that maybe they shouldn't be living in a place where horrible things have happened with, "As usual, you're overreacting." But more, and better, Brundage carries the arc of her story into the future, where the children of the nightmare, scarred by poverty, worry, meth, Iraq, are bound up in its consequences, the weight of all those ghosts, whether real or imagined, upon them forever. With a storyline that tightens like a constrictor, this is a book that you won't want to read alone late at night. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Readers know at the outset of Brundage's (A Stranger like You, 2010) cunning psychological thriller that Catherine Clare has been savagely murdered and suspect, if they don't know for certain, that the crime was committed by her husband, George. What follows is a crafty dissection of the dissolution of a marriage that was doomed from the start. Ill-suited opposites, Catherine and George only marry when Catherine becomes pregnant. An art historian who never completed his doctoral dissertation and never owned up to this lapse, George lands a plum position at a tony private college in the Hudson River Valley. Small-town reticence coupled with rural isolation provide further challenges to their shaky union, and a series of inexplicable and unsolved crimes only add to the uneasiness of Catherine's life in their impoverished farmhouse, where the previous owners committed suicide. As she builds the case against the sociopathic husband, Brundage also constructs a dynamic portrait of a young woman coming into her own at the fringe of the 1970s feminist movement and implicates a destructively self-protective community that fails to seek justice. Brundage's account of a marriage in free fall will, inevitably, be compared to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (2012), even as it rises to greater literary heights and promises a soaring mix of mysticism, mayhem, and madness.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2015 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

BETTER LIVING THROUGH CRITICISM: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth, by A. O. Scott. (Penguin, $17.) The author, a co-chief film critic for The New York Times, reconsiders the relationship between criticism and the art it assesses; rather than art's antithesis, such evaluations are part and parcel of the creative process. "Criticism, far from sapping the vitality of art, is instead what supplies its lifeblood," Scott writes. DREAM CITIES: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World, by Wade Graham. (Harper Perennial, $15.99.) Graham chronicles the familiar institutions around which the world's cities are organized - including shopping malls, monuments and suburbs - and profiles the designers and planners who imagined them. Cities, in his view, are best seen as "expressions of ideas, often conflicting, about how we should live." A MOTHER'S RECKONING: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, by Sue Klebold. (Broadway, $16.) Klebold, the mother of one of the teenagers who killed 13 other people and themselves at Columbine High School in 1999, approaches her book gingerly: Aware that the project could draw ire or claims of insensitivity, she uses it to warn about mental illness and consider what could have been done to prevent the tragedy. THE BRICKS THAT BUILT THE HOUSES, by Kate Tempest. (Bloomsbury, $16.) Tempest, a spoken-word poet and a rapper, reprises characters from earlier work in this, her debut novel. Harry is socking away money for the future by dealing cocaine to the wealthy, while Becky, an aspiring dancer, works as a masseuse. Tempest turns her ear for language to their love story, as well as the characters that surround them. "The cumulative effect is deeply affecting: cinematic in scope; touching in its empathic humanity," our reviewer, Sam Byers, wrote. ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR, by Elizabeth Brundage. (Vintage, $15.95.) How much tragedy can one farmhouse hold? When Catherine Clare, a college professor's wife in small-town New York, is murdered in her bed, it recalls an earlier trauma at the house: an incident that left three brothers orphaned. Brundage unspools stories of the Clares' marriage and their home in this masterly thriller. ONLY THE ANIMALS: Stories, by Ceridwen Dovey. (Picador, $18.) Dovey's narrators are the souls of animals linked to artists and writers, including a dolphin with an affinity for Ted Hughes. In these "tragic but knowing" tales, "the wronged do not howl at their executioners as much as hold their actions in the light, and accept their place in history," our reviewer, Megan Mayhew Bergman, wrote. ?


Library Journal Review

Art history professor George Clare comes home to his upstate New York farmhouse to find -Catherine, his wife, murdered and their toddler daughter alone in her room. Instead of the traditional whodunit path, however, Brundage takes the reader back in time to reveal what led to this devastating event. It's not just a history of the Clares and their move from Manhattan to a depressed rural town; it's about their neighbors, George's free-spirited colleagues, and the boys who perform odd jobs around the property. Each person connected to the family has their own story and perspective, and the author elegantly shifts among them all until the truth comes into focus. In examining the inconsistency of memory, Brundage plays with how things look vs. how things actually are. The structure of her transcendent work allows readers to see how characters experience events in the moment, reflect upon them later, and then examine them years after the fact. VERDICT Tragedy leaves an indelible mark on both people and places in Brundage's (A Stranger Like You) piercing new novel. Part mystery, part ghost story, and entirely brilliant, this title will entrance book clubs and literary fiction readers.-Liza Oldham, Beverly, MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.