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The Storm at the Door: A Novel - Stefan Merrill Block
The Storm at the Door: A Novel
by: (author)
3.33 30
The past is not past for Katharine Merrill. Even after two decades of volatile marriage, Katharine still believes she can have the life that she felt promised to her by those first exhilarating days with her husband, Frederick. For two months, just before Frederick left to fight in World War II,... show more
The past is not past for Katharine Merrill. Even after two decades of volatile marriage, Katharine still believes she can have the life that she felt promised to her by those first exhilarating days with her husband, Frederick. For two months, just before Frederick left to fight in World War II, Katharine received his total attentiveness, his limitless charms, his astonishing range of intellect and wit. Over the years, however, as Frederick’s behavior and moods have darkened, Katharine has covered for him, trying to rein in his great manic passions and bridge his deep wells of sadness: an unending project of keeping up appearances and hoping for the best. But the project is failing. Increasingly, Frederick’s erratic behavior, amplified by alcohol, distresses Katharine and their four daughters and gives his friends and family cause to worry for his sanity. When, in the summer of 1962, a cocktail party ends with her husband in handcuffs, Katharine makes a fateful decision: She commits Frederick to Mayflower Home, America’s most revered mental asylum.There, on the grounds of the opulent hospital populated by great poets, intellectuals, and madmen, Frederick tries to transform his incarceration into a creative exercise, to take each meaningless passing moment and find the art within it. But as he lies on his room’s single mattress, Frederick wonders how he ever managed to be all that he once was: a father, a husband, a business executive. Under the faltering guidance of a self-obsessed psychiatrist, Frederick and his fellow patients must try to navigate their way through a gray zone of depression, addiction, and insanity.Meanwhile, as she struggles to raise four young daughters, Katharine tries to find her way back to Frederick through her own ambiguities, delusions, and the damages done by her rose-colored belief in a life she no longer lives. Inspired by elements of the lives of the author’s grandparents, this haunting love story shifts through time and reaches across generations. Along the way, Stefan Merrill Block stunningly illuminates an age-old truth: even if one’s daily life appears ordinary, one can still wage a silent, secret, extraordinary war.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9781400069453 (1400069459)
ASIN: 1400069459
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Pages no: 368
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Boston Bibliophile
Boston Bibliophile rated it
3.0 The Storm at the Door: A Novel
I have to say I was really disappointed in this book. It was well-written and touched on emotionally difficult terrain but it seemed like the author could not decide if he was writing fiction or nonfiction. It was almost as if he wrote nonfiction with fiction to fill in the gaps- sometimes. The book...
Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud
Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud rated it
3.0
The Book Report: What happens when a naive young woman meets a tall, dark, and handsome young man on the eve of WWII? He's charming, he's witty, he's intense, and he's going away to war in the Navy. Give up? They get married! When TD&H comes home after only a few months, spends some time in a hospit...
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