Commuters: A Novel

Commuters: A Novel

Emily Gray Tedrowe

Language: English

Pages: 378

ISBN: 0061859478

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"Tedrowe explores the reconfigurations of a family and the strange alliances that can occur between young and old, love and work. And she writes brilliantly about money…. A deeply satisfying debut." —Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street

“A poignant meditation on desire, heartrending loss, and dreams deferred.” —Robin Antalek, author of The Summer We Fell Apart

Emily Tedrowe’s exceptional debut novel depicts the shockwaves set in motion by the sudden marriage of one middle-class family’s 78-year-old matriarch to a wealthy outsider. Commuters is that rare novel that offers something for almost everyone: “foodies” interested in exploring the rich tapestry of the New York City restaurant scene; the millions who have been profoundly affected by the current financial and mortgage crisis; or anyone simply looking for a beautifully drawn family drama in the vein of the works of Katrina Kittle (The Blessings of the Animals, Two Truths and a Lie) and Jennifer Haigh (The Condition, Baker Towers, Mrs. Kimble).

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Stairwell? Together, she and Jerry were exploring the house. Each night after dinner, and after a television program or two, they wandered into a different room and flipped the light switches on and off. They wondered at a strange water stain high up on a wall or tried to guess which child or grandchild might sleep there when visiting. On one of the first nights they did this, Jerry announced that he wanted to furnish the second-largest bedroom, the one that looked out onto the spreading

thick-cushioned headphones were invisible, buried under the pillows somewhere, but the sight of the cord trailing down from the bed sent a flash-shiver through him—last night, toward the end, he’d put them on Nona just to watch her face, eyes shut and mouth open. (Avery had to believe it wasn’t just the music that had made her writhe like that.) He dropped his towel and climbed on top of her. “Oof. Already?” “Don’t go anywhere,” he whispered. “Don’t even get dressed.” Nona raised her head an

milled and peered closely at the black-and-white images, plastic drink cups in hand. This left the gym itself strangely empty, its two refreshment tables, podium, and rows of folding chairs all stiffly arranged on the waxed, putty-colored floor. “It’s not really the Girls’ Gym anymore,” Rachel was saying to Jerry, in the crowded foyer. “What do they call it now, Lila?” “Everyone still says Girls’ Gym,” Lila said. Unlike Melissa, who had hurried down the hall to a friend, Winnie’s older

content to talk, on and on, while Avery pretended to be getting it all down, hunting and pecking with two middle fingers. What did he talk about? Well, it was hard to say, since the busted laptop had one video game that still worked: cascading colored bricks that had to be arranged just so before they landed. Avery was up to the fourth level. One day he was drafting what he liked to imagine was a scorching love letter, safe behind the open cover of the computer and the tapping of the keys.

say more? He could feel there was stuff Nona hadn’t said, about the money, things she was holding back. Which would feel worse: hearing now what they might be, or guessing at them later? This wary peace lulled him, as did the smoky char smell that filled the room. Probably it was all fine. Avery watched the chickens roast. They looked great: fresh and plump. In a minute, he’d ask this guy for the name of his local supplier. Later today, he’d call Ricardo and go sign the damn lease. Part II Ten

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