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Long Island Compromise: A Novel

Long Island Compromise: A Novel

Author Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Publisher Random House
Publication Date 2024-07-09
Section New Hardcover - Fiction
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780593133491

An exhilarating novel about one American family, the dark moment that shatters their suburban paradise, and the wild rise of trauma and inheritance, from the New York Times bestselling author of Fleishman Is in Trouble

In 1982, a wealthy businessman named Carl Fletcher is kidnapped from his driveway in the nicest part of Long Island, brutalized, and held for ransom. He is returned to his wife and sons a week later, only slightly the worse for wear, and the family begins the hard work of trying to move on with their lives and resume their prized places in the saga of the American dream.

But twenty-five years later, when Carl's mother dies and the family comes home to mourn her, the unprocessed drama that's been bubbling beneath the surface finally comes to the fore for the entire family: Carl, the prickly, still-terrified father, who has been secretly seeking closure to the matter of his kidnapping for years; his wife, Ruth, who has spent her potential protecting her husband's emotional health; and their three grown sons: Nathan, who is trying to stay on the promotion track at his law firm; Beamer, a Hollywood producer, who will consume anything--substance, foodstuff, women--in order to numb his own perpetual terror; and J.J., the cool observer who spends his life so bent on proving that he is not a product of the family's pathology that he comes to define it.

After Carl buries his mother, he allows himself to acknowledge what happened to him all those years ago, and to finally face the question that's been idling in his mind for a quarter of a century: Where did the ransom go?

Long Island Compromise spans the entirety of one family's history, winding through decades and generations all the way through the wild present, and deals with all the mainstays of American Jewish life: tradition, the pursuit of success, the fear of history, old wives' tales, evil eyes, orgies, dybbuks, a Mandy Patinkin obsession, hippies, right-wing capitalists, and the mostly unspoken love and shared experience that unites a family forever.

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