The Antiquesby Kris D'Agostino
On the night of a massive hurricane, three estranged siblings learn that their father is dying. For the first time in years, they convene at their
An irresistible, incisive, fast-paced comedic drama about a family who reunites after the death of its patriarch, just as a hurricane tears through town. For fans of Jonathan Tropper, Emma Straub, and Karen Joy Fowler.
On the night of a massive hurricane, three estranged siblings learn that their father is dying. For the first time in years, they convene at their childhood home in Upstate New York, where the storm has downed power lines, flooded houses, and destroyed the family’s antique store.
The Westfalls are no strangers to dysfunction. But never have their lives felt so out of control. Armie is living in their parents’ basement. In Manhattan, Josef, a sex-addicted techie, is struggling to repair his broken relationship with his daughters. Their sister, Charlie, who works in Hollywood as a publicist for a wayward young actress, just learned that her son has been expelled from preschool. Amid the storm, they come together to plan their father’s memorial service, only to learn his dying wish—they must sell his priceless Magritte painting. As their failures are laid bare, they discover that hope often lurks in the darkest of places. And so, too, can hilarity.
Complete with an irresistible plot and deeply flawed, affectionately rendered characters, Kris D’Agostino’s breakout novel charts the unexpected epiphanies that emerge in chaos. A rollicking tableau of life in all its messy complexity, The Antiques is a heartbreaking, nimble, laugh-out-loud funny send-up of modern family life.
In his second novel, D’Agostino (The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac) paints a darkly humorous portrait of the American family under duress. In the path of a hurricane sweeping toward Hudson, N.Y., the Westfall family gathers to support patriarch George, who’s been given months to live after a bout with cancer. He dies unexpectedly as the storm intensifies. Ana, George’s grieving wife and his partner in an antiques business, and their three children, all with problems of their own, are left to settle the estate by selling off a painting by René Magritte called Conversation in the Sky, which has hung over the mantle for decades. The Westfall children are Charlie, the caretaker of a cheating husband, a developmentally challenged son, and A-list Hollywood actress Melody Montrose; Josef, a sex-addicted tech entrepreneur working halfheartedly to win back the love of his children and his estranged wife; and Armie, a talented woodworker who lives in his parents’ basement and pines for his high school crush. The antique store and her children’s personal lives in shambles, and Ana experiences a crisis of confidence, wondering how the family will survive. D’Agostino balances scathing and humorous commentary on the foibles of family with keen insight into his characters who, despite their myriad flaws, deserve a satisfactory ending to the worst week ever. (Jan.)
"The Antiques is a literary hurricane of hilarity, heartbreak, and familial redemption. Kris D’Agostino juggles a stolen model-rocket, a patriarchal funeral, a runaway movie actress, and a potentially priceless painting all the way to the novel’s very satisfying ending. The Westfall family could be the Tenenbaums of Upstate New York."--Nickolas Butler, internationally bestselling author of Shotgun Lovesongs and The Hearts of Men
"Kris D’Agostino presents a funhouse mirror in The Antiques, delivering a cast of characters at once utterly familiar and completely absurd. But the real magic here is the fact that these people are still so dear. D’Agostino elevates this novel from a funny story about a dysfunctional family to a bright examination of the American man and woman. The Antiques is witty, charming and delightful, but in critiquing the choices we make as moderns, it packs a firm punch."--Lydia Netzer, author of Shine Shine Shine
"Kris D’Agostino’s The Antiques is about family and how -- no, wait, it’s not one of those treacly, warmed-over novels about family. It’s witty and trenchant and dark and stylish, the black sheep of the family-novel genre, the one who’s not invited to Thanksgiving but crashes it anyway to the delight of the younger relatives and the horror of the elders." -- Teddy Wayne, author of Loner and The Love Song of Johnny Valentine
“The death of a family patriarch and an impending hurricane create a perfect literary storm in this wonderfully wise and darkly comic novel. I love this story of family, friendship, loss and redemption. Most of all, despite their sometimes hilarious flaws, I love the Westfalls.”--Ann Leary, New York Times bestselling author of The Good House
“The Antiques is a keenly observed, eminently readable, all-kinds-of-funny ride, and I urge you to take it.”—New York Times bestselling author of West of Here and The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving: A Novel
"In The Antiques, Kris D'Agostino introduces us to a messy, delinquent, outrageous family plunged into mourning when the patriarch dies. While other writers might see this as an opportunity to throw ashes of grief on their characters' heads, D'Agostino comes at us briskly, shaking our hand with a joy buzzer. This book also reminds us that life and laughter still continue even after our loved ones have left us. The Antiques is an exuberant, lusty novel that had me laughing in the most inappropriate places. I loved it!"—David Abrams, author of the New York Times Notable book Fobbit
“The Antiques is a keenly observed, eminently readable, all-kinds-of-funny ride, and I urge you to take it.”—Jonathan Evison, New York Times bestselling author of West of Here and The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving: A Novel
"A perfect drama for readers who liked Herman Koch's The Dinner and Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings."--Library Journal
"A darkly humorous portrait of the American family under duress....D'Agostino D’Agostino balances scathing and humorous commentary on the foibles of family with keen insight into his characters.”--Publishers Weekly
"[A] humorous novel..with funny, crisp dialogue...will indubitably appeal to fans of funny family dysfunction novels like Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You...and Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest."--Booklist
“A funny, perceptive story about the surprisingly strong bonds holding together a disparate family who gather after the death of its patriarch.”--Shelf Awareness
"Spend a week with the Westfalls, the feisty clan at the center of Kris D’Agostino’s second novel, “The Antiques,” and you may feel better about your own family...very funny."--News Day
The Westfall family is facing a crisis of hurricane proportions—literally. A hurricane is bearing down on their Hudson, NY, home while George Westfall, father and husband, is dying from cancer. Ana, the matriarch, struggles to rescue their storm-ravaged antique shop as she copes with her husband's illness. Eldest son Josef's marriage and career is in shambles owing to his sex addiction and extravagant spending habits. The youngest son, Armie, is living as a recluse in his parents' basement. And glamorous daughter Charlie's own whirlwind marriage is dissolving in the wake of her son's dismissal from yet another school. In the disaster's aftermath, the Westfalls will come together and discover that they have amassed habits and behaviors that are nothing more than old relics that are not worth keeping. They also find that there are antiques that remain valuable—one another. VERDICT Family dynamics and relationships are the center of D'Agostino's second novel after The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac. A perfect drama for readers who liked Herman Koch's The Dinner and Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings.—Melissa Lockaby, Univ. of North Georgia Libs., Dahlonega
Screwed-up siblings rush home to upstate New York to say goodbye to their father during a hurricane.All members of the Westfall family are in terrible shape, including the dog. Patriarch George has inoperable cancer and is going down fast, spending his last days in his living room contemplating the Magritte he’s owned since 1965, planning to leave his family instructions to sell it and split the profits. “Let them find whatever it is they were looking for in this life. Let them be happy.” No matter what that painting is worth, happiness is going to be a tall order for this crew. Oldest son Josef is a sleazy corporate wheeler-dealer and sexaholic whose wife has left him for a poet; even his kids are beginning to have some doubts about him. Daughter Charlie lives on the West Coast, where she's personal assistant to a demented A-list actress and has an awful French husband and a seriously disturbed son who has just broken another child's arm and been kicked out of preschool. Poor Armie, the youngest, has boomeranged home to his parents’ basement, where he messes around with woodworking and moons over the girl he’s loved since high school. Mother Ana is not only losing her husband—her antiques store is devastated by the storm, and the dog is on his last legs. Having just slid across the kitchen floor after stepping in a puddle of half-digested salmon chunks, she reports to Armie, “There’s blood in his vomit.” “The dog?” “Yes, the dog.” “Not Dad?” “Your father is asleep, I think.” D’Agostino (The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac, 2012) specializes in snappy repartee, with most scenes centered on conversational free-for-alls among the Westfalls and their entourage.A family in a thoroughly modern mess, played for laughs.
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- 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Meet the Author
Kris D’Agostino holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. He is the author of The Antiques and The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac. He lives in Brooklyn.
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