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The Doctor's House

by Ann Beattie

As this book goes on it becomes more unsettling, and you realise that the person you thought you understood is more complicated and more involved than first appears. Although perceptively and sensitively written, at the end there is a feeling that you can never really get to the truth of the dark enigma at the heart of this troubled family.

Extract

I was relieved. Firstly because he'd heard from Andrew, and second, because I'd expected worse. Now that I knew he'd reported in, I could let myself become angry. Andrew's actions seemed tiresome, compulsive, impossible to sympathise with. All the womanising, as well as my willingness to listen to his stories, had made me introspect. The person I found inside me was a person intent upon hiding out, not as different from her mother as she'd like to think. Though I assumed our mother had become a drunk in order to be a stay-at-home, there was also the chance that the desire followed the drinking. Afraid that I had been genetically encoded to hide, I forced myself to put my coat back on and take a late-afternoon walk.

Parallels

Bad Blood by Lorna Sage
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy
 

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