Splitsville

Published March 21, 2014

First-time novelist Ted Thompson delves into his native suburban Connecticut for The Land of Steady Habits (Little, Brown), the saga of Anders Hill. Newly retired and divorced from his wife of 40 years, Hill is caught between self-destructively rejecting the comforts of his previous life and pining for them. The likely personalities are all here: the Windsor-knotted patriarch, the wine-swilling housewife, the adulterers, and angry sons finding themselves and their bongs. But Thompson has a gift for bitter, uproarious dialogue, and his characters are endowed with ominous realism. Like what Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road did for the stifled Silent Generation, Thompson’s splintered Hill clan gives voice to a desperate, conflicted, and dwindling affluent class. As the title suggests, The Land of Steady Habits finds tragedy in routine, the sum of good intentions curbed and deferred.

THE LAND OF STEADY HABITS COMES OUT TODAY, MARCH 25.