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Infinite Home: A Novel
by Kathleen Alcott

Published: 2015-08-04
Hardcover : 336 pages
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"[E]xpect to find insights that make you stop, go back and read again.... Take it from us: You don't know what's coming in the last third of this book, and you will be astounded." —O, the Oprah Magazine

A beautifully wrought story of an ad hoc family and the crisis they must overcome ...
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Introduction

"[E]xpect to find insights that make you stop, go back and read again.... Take it from us: You don't know what's coming in the last third of this book, and you will be astounded." —O, the Oprah Magazine

A beautifully wrought story of an ad hoc family and the crisis they must overcome together.

Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways—in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart—the renters struggle to navigate daily existence, and soon come to realize that Edith’s deteriorating mind, and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, is the greatest challenge they must confront together.

Faced with eviction by Owen and his designs on the building, the tenants—Paulie, an unusually disabled man and his burdened sister, Claudia; Edward, a misanthropic stand-up comic; Adeleine, a beautiful agoraphobe; Thomas, a young artist recovering from a stroke—must find in one another what the world has not yet offered or has taken from them: family, respite, security, worth, love.

The threat to their home scatters them far from where they’ve begun, to an ascetic commune in Northern California, the motel rooms of depressed middle America, and a stunning natural phenomenon in Tennessee, endangering their lives and their visions of themselves along the way.

With humanity, humor, grace, and striking prose, Kathleen Alcott portrays these unforgettable characters in their search for connection, for a life worth living, for home.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of August 2015: Elizabeth Gilbert once said: “We must take care of our families wherever we find them.” This is as good a summation as any for Kathleen Alcott’s eloquently written Infinite Home. Set in a Brooklyn Brownstone presided over by a kind-hearted but increasingly senile landlady (Edith), the tenants band together when her greedy son threatens to pull the rug from beneath them. One tenant has Williams Syndrome, another agoraphobia; there is an artist dealing with the debilitating effects of a stroke, and a washed-up comedian with unfunny issues of his own. Given this cast of characters, you might be tempted to reach for a [insert antidepressant of choice here]. But, Infinite Home is far from bleak. Motivated by their concern for Edith, and for one another, each eschews their personal struggles to try to keep this crazy quilt of a family, and their home, intact. Alcott could easily veer into mawkish territory here, but her deft touch makes ‘Home’ poignant without being precious. She also has a knack for ending pithy but perfectly composed chapters on just the right note. If only I could conclude this review that way. --Erin Kodicek

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by ahossain (see profile) 11/04/15

 
  "Loved this book"by Wendy56 (see profile) 09/16/15

A seemingly simple story grabs the readers attention and doesn't let go until the last page is turned. Absolutely loved this book.

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