Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Table of Contents: Halfway House

Author: Katharine Noel
Publisher/Year: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006
Synopsis: One day, Angie Voorster diligent student, all-star swimmer, and Ivy League-bound high school senior dives to the bottom of a pool and stays there. In that moment, everything the Voorster family believes they know about one another changes. Set in a small town in New Hampshire, Halfway House is the story of Angie's psychotic break and her family's subsequent turmoil. Each of her family members responds differently to the ongoing crisis: Her father Pieter, a professional cellist, retreats further into his music; her mother begins a destabilizing affair with a younger man; her younger brother, Luke, first pushes away from her then later drops out of college to be closer to her. Though the Voorsters manage for a time to maintain a semblance of the normalcy they had "before," it is not until Angie is finally able to fend for herself that the family is able to truly fall apart and then regather itself in a new, fundamentally changed way.

What Others Have To Say
The New York Times
"Noel writes Angie's manic episodes with a harrowing immediacy, but even better, she captures the fragility of her saner moments."

Entertainment Weekly
"...an overly splashy way to dramatize Angie's first psychotic break, but Noel deserves immense credit for her precise and delicate description of the grinding years that follow."

Psychiatry Online
"The author seems to be reaching for capturing the ordinary in the extraordinary, and this may be enough for some readers."

Read an excerpt

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