The “splendid” (The Boston Globe) debut novel by the author of Speak.
For more than thirty years, William Adair’s faith in life was based on two indisputable principles: the exceptional good looks and athletic talents of his three daughters and the historical status of his family in their Philadelphia suburb. After suffering a stroke, William wakes up in his hospital bed to realize that his world has collapsed: his children are less extraordinary than he had remembered and his family’s notable history has been forgotten.
William’s daughters—all tennis champions in their youth—are in decline. Having lost their father’s pride, the three sisters struggle to define themselves. Their mother, whose memory has started to fade, is unable to help them recall the talented girls they used to be.
For three generations, a carriage house has stood on the Adair property. Built by William’s grandfather, it was William’s childhood refuge and a sign of the family’s prominence. Now held captive by a neighbor due to a zoning error, the house has decayed beyond recognition and may even be condemned.
Rallying to save their father, Diana, Elizabeth, and Isabelle take on the battle for the carriage house that once stood as a symbol of their place in the world. Overcoming misunderstandings and betrayals both deep in the past and painfully new, each of the Adairs ultimately finds a place of forgiveness. The Carriage House is a moving, beautifully wrought debut novel about the complex bonds of siblings, about rebuilding lost lives, and about the saving grace of love.
Louisa Hall grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Haverford. After graduating from Harvard, she played squash professionally and was ranked #2 in the country. She teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin. Her poems have been published in journals, such as The New Republic, The Southwest Review, and Ellipsis. The Carriage House is her first novel. She lives in Austin.
The Carriage House: A Novel 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Riveting, engrossing and fascinating read.
This novel I so enjoyed, why you ask? All the drama one novel should have. A father surrounded himself with his girls, as stated in the book, "his girls who had somehow slipped away from him but when he would watch for, everyday, as long as he lived, hoping to glimpse them even briefly as they winged their way past." Geez, how can you beat that? Their mother Margaux early-onset of Alzheimer, how William longed to have just a moment of closeness with her. Children grow and leave, seeing his girls independence. Adelia steps in, did she really step into their lives? Adelia was part of William's childhood past and neighbor, but he meant more to her. I tell you this book snatched me in so quickly and held me captive. Love this story especially the family unity William kept thinking was fading and withering away. No, everyone is growing into themselves. Won this book on Goodreads, First Read Giveaway. Thank you, Darlene Cruz
More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The third person narration is so well balanced and paced. The characters come alive with the perfect blend of tragedy and humor. Recommend!