Every Visible Thing: A Novel

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9780066212890: Every Visible Thing: A Novel

When unthinkable tragedy strikes, at what point must a family turn away from the past and move forward into the future? The extraordinary new novel from the critically acclaimed author of Love in the Asylum and The Mermaids Singing is a darkly absorbing, deeply realistic portrait of adolescence, family, and grief.

The Fureys are a family divided in time. Five years ago, the eldest son, Hugh, left home in the middle of the night and never returned. After two years of exhausting and fruitless searching, his parents, estranged by grief, try to put the tragedy behind them. His mother recovers from an emotional breakdown by losing herself in a new career. His father, having lost his faith as well as his position as a theology professor, takes on the role of caregiver for their remaining two children with lackluster effort.

Owen and Lena, left to fend for themselves, hold on to the memory of their brother with increasingly self-destructive obsessions. Ten-year-old Owen, prompted by the iconic angels in his father's former study, calls on Hugh as a guardian angel as his own sexual experimentation turns dangerous. Fifteen-year-old Lena explores drugs, boys, and truancy, and begins a search for Hugh—and for herself—through the lens of his old camera. As she spirals increasingly out of control, she forces the family to face their past . . . and find a future.

A moving, lyrically written novel that captures the darkness of adolescence and the complex relationships within a family, Lisa Carey's Every Visible Thing is a story born of grief and disillusionment that is ultimately a testament to the power of hope, faith, and love.

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About the Author:

Lisa Carey is the author of The Mermaids Singing, In the Country of the Young, and Love in the Asylum. She lived in Ireland for five years and now resides in Portland, Maine, with her husband and their son.

From Publishers Weekly:

In her graceful, affecting fourth novel, Carey (Love in the Asylum) revisits themes from her previous books—family, tragedy, grief and resilience—with visceral drama and pathos. In the mid-'80s, on the outskirts of Boston, 15-year-old Lena and 10-year-old Owen Furey are coming of age in the aftermath of their older brother Hugh's disappearance. Two years on, Hugh is presumed dead, and the Furey parents have buried themselves in their work: mother Elizabeth as a medical student, father Henry as an editor of religious books. Left to their own devices, the Furey children flirt with self-destruction, giving flesh to the mythic symbolism of their last name. While Lena pursues a dangerous search for proof of Hugh's fate, tracking his movements through images from his old camera, Owen calls on Hugh as a protecting angel to help him deal with his stirring sexual attraction to best friend Danny (and with Danny's harsh reprisals). Though the novel suffers from an unwieldy structure, switching between Lena's first person and a third-person portrayal of Owen, the play between sections devoted to each child proves rewarding, suffused in lucid grief and delicate longings. (Aug.)
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