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The Hole We're In
Cover of The Hole We're In
The Hole We're In
A Novel
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A "sharply funny and sobering . . . portrait of a family in financial free fall" from the New York Times–bestselling author of Young Jane Young. (People)

With The Hole We're In—a bold, timeless, yet all too timely novel about a troubled American family navigating an even more troubled America—award-winning author and screenwriter, Gabrielle Zevin, delivers a work that places her in the ranks of our shrewdest social observers and top literary talents.

Meet the Pomeroys: a church-going family living in a too-red house in a Texas college town. Roger, the patriarch, has impulsively gone back to school, only to find his future ambitions at odds with the temptations of the present. His wife, Georgia, tries to keep things afloat at home, but she's been feeding the bill drawer with unopened envelopes for months and never manages to confront its swelling contents. In an attempt to climb out of the holes they've dug, Roger and Georgia make a series of choices that have catastrophic consequences for their three children—especially for Patsy, the youngest, who will spend most of her life fighting to overcome them. The Hole We're In shines a spotlight on some of the most relevant issues of today: over-reliance on credit, gender and class politics, and the war in Iraq. But it is Zevin's deft exploration of the fragile economy of family life that makes this a book for the ages.

"Blazing . . . Sharp . . . The Corrections for our recessionary times . . . [Zevin] establishes herself as an astute chronicler of the way we spend now." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A "sharply funny and sobering . . . portrait of a family in financial free fall" from the New York Times–bestselling author of Young Jane Young. (People)

With The Hole We're In—a bold, timeless, yet all too timely novel about a troubled American family navigating an even more troubled America—award-winning author and screenwriter, Gabrielle Zevin, delivers a work that places her in the ranks of our shrewdest social observers and top literary talents.

Meet the Pomeroys: a church-going family living in a too-red house in a Texas college town. Roger, the patriarch, has impulsively gone back to school, only to find his future ambitions at odds with the temptations of the present. His wife, Georgia, tries to keep things afloat at home, but she's been feeding the bill drawer with unopened envelopes for months and never manages to confront its swelling contents. In an attempt to climb out of the holes they've dug, Roger and Georgia make a series of choices that have catastrophic consequences for their three children—especially for Patsy, the youngest, who will spend most of her life fighting to overcome them. The Hole We're In shines a spotlight on some of the most relevant issues of today: over-reliance on credit, gender and class politics, and the war in Iraq. But it is Zevin's deft exploration of the fragile economy of family life that makes this a book for the ages.

"Blazing . . . Sharp . . . The Corrections for our recessionary times . . . [Zevin] establishes herself as an astute chronicler of the way we spend now." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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About the Author-
  • Zevin is the author of two award-winning young adult novels, ELSEWHERE and MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC. She is also the author of MARGARETTOWN, a novel. Her books books have been lauded everywhere from coast to coast by reviewers, and her work has been translated into 18 languages. She is also a filmmaker, and lives in New York City.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 11, 2010
    Zevin (YA novel Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
    , etc.) delivers in her blazing second adult novel a Corrections
    for our recessionary times. While Roger Pomeroy spins his middle-aged wheels in graduate school, his wife, George, supports the family mainly via an ever larger number of credit cards opened in her recent college grad son Vinnie’s name. Meanwhile, daughter Helen insists on an expensive wedding, and youngest daughter Patsy gets pregnant and is transferred to a religious school out of state. Struggling to stay afloat, Roger and George deplete Patsy’s college fund, and Patsy in turn enlists in the army for the tuition benefits. She’s sent to Iraq and comes back injured and suffering from PTSD. Roger, in a not-quite-convincing turn, becomes an ultra-conservative Christian pastor, and long-suffering George goes off the deep end. Zevin mixes sharp humor with moments of grace as she gives readers terrific insights into the problems of adult children removing themselves from the influence of parents, and establishes herself as an astute chronicler of the way we spend now.

  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2010
    Picture-perfect evangelical family spirals out of control.

    Zeroing in on the high anxiety that credit-starved Americans feel in the current economic climate, Zevin (Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, 2007, etc.) delivers a bitter yet believable portrait of the national dream gone terribly wrong. Broken into four sections that jump from 2000 to 2006 to 2012 to 2022, the novel chronicles the high times and bottom-hitting lows of a daydreaming dad and compulsive shopper mom who are trying to raise a family in the Seventh Day Adventist faith while keeping secrets that wreak havoc on their children. Roger Pomeroy is a 42-year-old former pastor who decides to go back to school and earn a doctorate, a decision that pushes his family to the brink of starvation while he carries on a sordid affair with his supervising professor. His wife Georgia, a data-entry clerk, is sucking the family credit cards dry to pay for the wedding of eldest daughter Helen. Despite their lies, Roger and Georgia are comforted by their faith."The world tells you that all these secular debts matter, but my whole reason for being put here on this earth is to tell you that they do not. The only debts that matter are spiritual debts," advises the preacher at their church. Georgia's financial shenanigans, including the acquisition of credit cards in her children's names, are hard on all the kids, but hardest on youngest daughter Patsy, who joins the Army in an attempt to earn enough money for college and is sent to Afghanistan.

    Zevin's ambitious reach into the future may put off some readers, but others will warm to her clear-eyed compassion for people doing the best they can and wreaking considerable damage along the way.

    (COPYRIGHT (2010) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

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