Monday, November 21, 2011

Publishers Weekly Reviews Eileen Pollack's Forthcoming Novel, BREAKING AND ENTERING

Breaking and Entering
Louise Shapiro is thoroughly beset in this thorny, lucid novel. Her bad luck begins in California, where her husband abandons his psychology practice and takes a job in a rural Michigan prison. Louise struggles to adjust to the heartland, which seems overpopulated with religious nuts and militia members. Her husband drifts away into a rebellious, gun-toting fugue, and the lover she takes becomes remote in his own way. Contributing to and reflecting her malaise is the ominous sociopolitical climate: the Oklahoma City bombing occurs midway, and throughout Louise grapples with the suddenly vivid awareness that the country is full of people whose worldviews are almost incomprehensibly different from her own. Her increasingly nuanced view of the sociopolitical divide is reflected in Pollack’s sensitive portrayals of both liberal Louise and her ilk, and their conservative counterparts. Weaving the personal with the political, Pollack (In the Mouth) creates an encompassing haze of dissatisfaction and misdirected passion. Despite the unrelenting misfortune, though, the tone is more solemn than dark; there’s a beautiful contemplativeness, and a believable sense of redemption in the end. Louise is jarred into a kind of awakening that might not have occurred in comfortable Berkeley, and is, if not happier, more enlightened for it. Agent: Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Jan.)