The Red House, by Mark Haddon

Two adult siblings who are no longer close get together with their families for a Welsh vacation six weeks after the death of their mother. The sister resents the brother’s success. The sister’s husband is having an affair. Her 17-year-old son finds his 16-year-old cousin attractive, but not as attractive as his uncle’s new wife. Another child joins a church, but mainly because she thinks that doing so will cure her of a personality trait she has trouble accepting. A typical domestic drama, you might say. But give Mark Haddon a chance. His clipped writing style is so energetic and refreshing that he makes this material much more exciting than it otherwise might have been. The Red House is a wonderful novel.

My full review appears at


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