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Schroder: A Novel
by Amity Gaige

Published: 2013-02-05
Hardcover : 272 pages
2 members reading this now
2 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
A lyrical and deeply affecting novel recounting the seven days a father spends on the road with his daughter after kidnapping her during a parental visit.
Attending a New England summer camp, young Eric Schroder-a first-generation East German immigrant-adopts the last name Kennedy to more ...
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Introduction

A lyrical and deeply affecting novel recounting the seven days a father spends on the road with his daughter after kidnapping her during a parental visit.

Attending a New England summer camp, young Eric Schroder-a first-generation East German immigrant-adopts the last name Kennedy to more easily fit in, a fateful white lie that will set him on an improbable and ultimately tragic course.

SCHRODER relates the story of Eric's urgent escape years later to Lake Champlain, Vermont, with his six-year-old daughter, Meadow, in an attempt to outrun the authorities amid a heated custody battle with his wife, who will soon discover that her husband is not who he says he is. From a correctional facility, Eric surveys the course of his life to understand-and maybe even explain-his behavior: the painful separation from his mother in childhood; a harrowing escape to America with his taciturn father; a romance that withered under a shadow of lies; and his proudest moments and greatest regrets as a flawed but loving father.

Alternately lovesick and ecstatic, Amity Gaige's deftly imagined novel offers a profound meditation on history and fatherhood, and the many identities we take on in our lives--those we are born with and those we construct for ourselves.

Editorial Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2013: Eric Kennedy has a lot of explaining to do. First, thereâ??s the matter of his fabricating a Massachusetts seaside childhood to hide his East German roots--and his appropriation of the Kennedy name at age 14, a switch he never mentioned to his wife. Then thereâ??s his desperate sort-of accidental post-divorce abduction of their precocious six-year-old daughter, Meadow. Inspired partly by a true story, Amity Gaige's novel tracks the week Eric and Meadow spend on the road, days he remembers as some of the best of his life. This gorgeously expressed, slippery apologia from the once and future Schroder--sympathetic, even in his appalling negligence--limns the limits of self-made American identity, while paying tribute to the irrational exuberance of parental love. --Mari Malcolm

Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Discuss the significance of silence.
We're you sympathetic toward Schroder?
by gazzingo (see profile) 05/22/14

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Cheese sandwiches, butterscotch cookies.
by gazzingo (see profile) 05/22/14
We had little tea sandwiches and because Schroder called his daughter butterscotch we had butterscotch cookies. You could also serve mountain dew for a beverage.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Schroder - not worth the shelf space"by bookmobile (see profile) 11/16/16

I read 60 pages and gave up. I was not invested enough in the character to find out why he created a whole new identity. Did not give our bookclub much to discuss.

 
  "Schroder"by gazzingo (see profile) 05/22/14

This is an excellent book club book and provided one of the best discussions we have had in a long time. There was so much gray area as far as our perceptions and opinions about the main character. ... (read more)

 
  "Schroder, Amity Gaige"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 03/17/13

After listening to the audio version of the book, I wondered, is it an exposé, Erik’s memoir, an essay on marriage and parental responsibility, a treatise on love with an expiration date,... (read more)

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