Things fall apart

Model Home by Eric Puchner
Moments after finishing this strangely addictive book, I had to dash to the Walmart to pick up some stuff. And the Walmart run (dismal enough on its own), on the heels of such a completely depressing story, left me feeling like I was falling into a bottomless pit.
That’s how good this book is!
Don’t you just want to read it now?
Here’s what happened before all that – Before leaving on a recent trip, I read the first few pages of this book to make sure it was worth packing. (It is a hardcover after all, and I tend to overpack even before the books hit the luggage.) And while pre-reading, I fell in love with the quirkiness of the characters immediately. In the first two pages, they have a bizarro conversation about their dog, who has begun singing to rocks. (He’s an old dog.)
So it starts out with things looking fine—the Zillers are a reasonably normal American family, and they seem about as happy as a family reasonably can be.
And then the wheels fall off. And then there’s the equivalent of a trainwreck. And then it gets worse.
I was tempted to bail out (fair weather reader) when the going got rough; by then, I had grown somewhat fond of these strange people, and it was horrible to see them experiencing such loss and pain. It was bad enough when Warren, the husband/father, lost all of their money in a bad real estate investment, but then really, really bad stuff happened, and yow.
But I stuck with them, largely because I could not put this book down. The sun went down; I had all kinds of crap to do; and I just sat there and read.
Good, and painful, book.

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