A Thousand Pardons Synopsis
For readers of Jonathan Franzen and Richard Russo, Jonathan Dee’s novels are masterful works of literary fiction. In this sharply observed tale of self-invention and public scandal, Dee raises a trenchant question: what do we really want when we ask for forgiveness?
Once a privileged and loving couple, the Armsteads have now reached a breaking point. Ben, a partner in a prestigious law firm, has become unpredictable at work and withdrawn at home — a change that weighs heavily on his wife, Helen, and their pre-teen daughter, Sara. Then, in one afternoon, Ben’s recklessness takes an alarming turn, and everything the Armsteads have built together unravels, swiftly and spectacularly.
Thrust back into the working world, Helen finds a job in public relations and relocates with Sara from their home in upstate New York to an apartment in Manhattan. There, Helen discovers she has a rare gift, indispensable in the world of image control: She can convince arrogant men to admit their mistakes, spinning crises into second chances. Yet redemption is more easily granted in her professional life than in her personal one.
As she is confronted with the biggest case of her career, the fallout from her marriage, and Sara’s increasingly distant behaviour, Helen must face the limits of accountability and her own capacity for forgiveness. (Amazon)
Everything you say or do now, no matter how intimate, is being performed for an audience, namely the jury pool here in town and in the rest of the circuit. It would be good for you to get used to that as quickly as possible. (10% Kindle)
I can remember browsing Jonathan Dee’s previous title, the 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist The Privileges, but never getting around to reading it. So when I saw he had a new title A Thousand Pardons coming out in March 2013 I requested a copy from Netgalley.
I have to say I am not a fan of the cover art at all. So far I am finding the prose lacks the flair I had expected but it is still early days and am hoping all the story elements build to something more than the sum of their parts.
Looking forward to reading your teasers!
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.