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All Things Cease to Appear: A novel
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2016
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Description
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.From the Hardcover edition.
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Street Date:
03/08/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101875605
ASIN:
B00ZNE459U
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth Brundage. (2016). All Things Cease to Appear: A novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth Brundage. 2016. All Things Cease to Appear: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth Brundage, All Things Cease to Appear: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth Brundage. All Things Cease to Appear: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Anne Arundel County Public Library55
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Date Added:
Jun 03, 2017 06:31:39
Date Updated:
Nov 29, 2020 04:27:08
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Nov 29, 2020 05:41:45
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE graduated from Hampshire College, attended the 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 Skidmore College, Bard's Simon's Rock College, Trinity College, the University of Hartford, and the Rochester Institute of Technology. She lives near Albany in upstate New York.

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fullDescription
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.

From the Hardcover edition.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Kate Horsley, Crimeculture
      • content: "Mesmerizing . . . Extraordinarily gripping and suspenseful . . . A beautifully written novel that works on many levels. It is thoughtful and lyrical, a penetrating study of a psychopath and a deeply disturbing portrait of a doomed marriage, but also a meditation on the deceptiveness of all appearances and on 'the big fairy tale of America."
      • premium: False
      • source: Vanessa Friedman, The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "A marriage, a sociopath, a family destroyed by the economy, the things we do for love--all finely drawn. . . . All of the [cast] are sympathetic and suspicious in equal measure, a result of Brundage's ability to peel away the onionskin layers of emotion that define any relationship. As the clues accumulate and the killer is revealed, the truth becomes both horrifying and inevitable. In the end, justice is done and redemption found, though not at one might expect, which makes the book all the more satisfying."
      • premium: False
      • source: Estelle Tang, Elle
      • content: "A beautifully written treat. . . . as much a disturbing portrait of family and town life as it is a provocative mystery."
      • premium: False
      • source: Steven Whitton, The Anniston Star
      • content: "Unsettling, spellbinding . . . All Things Cease to Appear is a lot of things. It is part mystery, part ghost story. It is infused with the Swedenborgian ideals of marriage and the spiritual world. It is also very much about family, about what can hold a family together and what can tear it asunder. How the disparate pieces of the novel come together into a satisfying whole is its strength . . . Brundage's novel is indeed ambitious. It is also just plain riveting."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal
      • content: "Lyrically written, frequently shocking and immensely moving . . . It was, perhaps, for such extraordinary books that the term 'literary thriller' was coined . . . Reading this book is at once wrenching and exhilarating, thanks to Ms. Brundage's prose, which can make you gasp in astonishment or break your heart with a single line."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sarah Begley, Time
      • content: "Exquisitely gut-churning . . . Brundage's elegant exploration of motive--in all its directions--sets this book apart . . . Paranormal activity hangs in the atmosphere [and] Brundage takes us compellingly inside the perverse machinations of a violently narcissistic mind [that] recalls Patricia Highsmith's talented Mr. Ripley . . . Brundage's language is the real draw, with her vivid portraits of spouses on opposite sides of a brutal abyss."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tina Jordan, Entertainment Weekly
      • content: "[A] dark, chilling drama."
      • premium: False
      • source: Liza Oldham, Library Journal
      • content: "Transcendent . . . Tragedy leaves an indelible mark on both people and places in Brundage's piercing new novel. Party mystery, part ghost story, and entirely brilliant."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boris Kachka, New York
      • content: "Slightly Gothic, socially perceptive, and briskly written... Set in a seemingly haunted farmhouse is a rapidly gentrifying Hudson Valley town, the complex literary thriller ranges across generations of traumatized, interwoven families."
      • premium: False
      • source: Megan O'Grady, Vogue
      • content: "Superb...think a more literary, and feminist, Gone Girl. As the seemingly perfect marriage at its core reminds us, the most lethal deceptions are the stories we tell ourselves."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly [boxed review]
      • content: "Brundage's searing, intricate novel epitomizes the best of the literary thriller, marrying gripping drama with impeccably crafted prose, characterizations, and imagery. . . . 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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kate Christensen
      • content: "All Things Cease to Appear is a riveting ghost story, psychological thriller, and literary page turner. It's also the story of four women: Ella, Catherine, Justine, and Willis. With masterful skill and brilliant empathy, Brundage brings each of them to vivid and remarkable life. At its heart, this is a story about women's grit and courage, will and intelligence. It's a powerful and beautiful novel."
      • premium: False
      • source: Beverly Lowry
      • content: "At once high art and a spellbinding thriller, this is a book of many wonders, including a character as creepily sinister as any created by Patricia Highsmith."
      • premium: False
      • source: Caroline Leavitt
      • content: "Brundage's brilliant new novel is as terrifyingly unsettling--and as beautiful--as cracking ice over a raging river. Part murder mystery, part ghost
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from December 14, 2015
        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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2016
        You get in your car, drive to work, park, and go inside. An ordinary day--except, 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 seance. 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 anymore--she 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(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2016

        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 Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from December 15, 2015
        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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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New to Knopf--and now coming into her prime--this acclaimed writer combines noir and the gothic in a novel about two families entwined in their own unhappiness with, at the center, a gruesome and unsolved murder.

Late one winter afternoon in upstate New York, George Clare comes home to find his wife murdered and their three-year-old daughter alone--for how many hours?--in her room down the hall. He had recently, begrudgingly, taken a position at the private college nearby teaching art history, and moved his family into this tight-knit, impoverished town. And he is 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. The pall of death is ongoing, and relentless; behind one crime are others, and more than twenty years will pass before a hard kind of justice is finally...
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