Sarah Churchwell enjoys a pacy and intelligent parable of American redemptionThe notion of redemption is at the heart of America’s ideas about itself; it is also at the heart of Jonathan Dee’s new novel. A quasi-parable about the way America lives now, A Thousand Pardons tells the story of one family’s disintegration and reconciliation. The Armsteads are an affluent suburban American family living outside Manhattan: Ben is a partner at a high‑profile law firm; his wife Helen manages their home and raises their 14-year-old daughter Sara, whom the couple adopted from China as a baby.As the novel opens, Ben and Helen tell their daughter that they are off for their weekly “date night”; Sara rolls her eyes and pretends to gag. But they are hiding an uncomfortable truth – they are seeing a marriage counsellor, whose bromides will, ironically, drive the final wedge between the splintering couple. Grappling with a midlife crisis, infuriated by the therapist’s banalities, Ben suddenly blurts out: “Have you ever been so bored by yourself that you are literally terrified? That is what it’s like for me every day … It’s like a fucking death sentence, coming back to that house every night. I mean, no …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books