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The Unfolding

Literary Fiction

By Anthony Cummins

Homes always throws the kitchen sink at her tales of savagely dysfunctional American families; her previous novel, May We Be Forgiven, about brotherly rivalry in upstate New York, involved a car crash, an affair, a murder and a divorce — all just in the opening. 

Her new book also has a lot going on; too much, even. 

Set between 2008 and 2009, it follows Barack Obama’s election through the eyes of a wealthy Republican donor, The Big Guy, who is brewing a conspiracy to take back control and remould America in his image. 

Meanwhile, his wife is asking herself where her own life went, just as their teenage daughter starts to doubt that she shares her father’s values. 

It’s a smart premise, but the novel’s political satire seldom feels evenly spliced with the family drama. 

In the end, even Homes’s breakneck fiction is hard-pressed to keep pace with current reality. Still, it’s worth sticking with for the horribly ominous finale. 

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