Ophelia Field

Secrets In The Attic

Mother, Missing

By

Fourth Estate 434pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Oates’s latest novel takes place in the same town (Mt Ephraim, New York) as her best-selling We Were the Mulvaneys, and it opens with a Technicolor shot of that suburban idyll. It is Mother’s Day. Quickly, the comedy of American crassness and banality begins: men who talk about their jobs like infomercials and women who do ‘crafts’. The narrator, a hip young woman named Nikki Eaton, views this world of her parents’ generation with condescension and even, despite praise for her ‘terrific mom’, some contempt. 

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