Author: Dana Spiotta
Genre: General Fiction
Publication Date: July 6, 2021
Book Description: On the heels of the election of 2016, Samantha Raymond’s life begins to come apart: her mother is ill, her teenage daughter is increasingly remote, and at fifty-two she finds herself staring into “the Mids”–that hour of supreme wakefulness between three and four in the morning in which women of a certain age suddenly find themselves contemplating motherhood, mortality, and, in this case, the state of our unraveling nation.
When she falls in love with a beautiful, decrepit house in a hardscrabble neighborhood in Syracuse, she buys it on a whim and flees her suburban life–and her family–as she grapples with how to be a wife, a mother, and a daughter, in a country that is coming apart at the seams.
Dana Spiotta’s Wayward is a stunning novel about aging, about the female body, and about female difficulty–female complexity–in the age of Trump. Probing and provocative, brainy and sensual, it is a testament to our weird, off-kilter America, to reforms and resistance and utopian wishes, and to the beauty of ruins. Tremendous new work from one of the most gifted writers of her generation.
Rating: 5 Stars
Mini-Review: When this book opens Samantha falls in love with an old Arts & Crafts house. She makes the decision to buy the house almost immediately. But that decision is life-altering for her because she is married with a child. She knows at this point her marriage is over and she must get out of her current house. As you can imagine, there is much surprise by her family, and causes a major rift with her 17 year old daughter Ally.
Samantha, is likely going through a mid-life crisis at this point. What Spiotta writes is a thoughtful story told from Sam and Ally. No one is perfect in this story, just people trying to make it through turbulent times.
The author put a lot of thought and reflection into this short novel. The writing was simple but flowed beautifully. I had many, what would you do in this situation, moments while reading this book. In the end, I absolutely loved this book. It is very quiet, but I think it will stay on many people’s minds for quite a long time.
Thank you NetGalley and Knopf for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.