For Clay Blackall, a lifelong resident of Providence, Rhode Island, the place has become an obsession. Here live the only people who can explain what happened to his brother, Eli, whose suicide haunts this heartbreaking, hilarious novel-in-fragments. A former movie star impersonates himself; an ex-con looks after a summer home perched atop a rock in the bay; a broken-hearted Salutatorian airs thirteen years worth of dirty laundry at his schools commencement; an adjunct struggles to make room for her homeless and self-absorbed mother while revisiting a salacious high school love affair; a recent widower, with the help of a clever teen, schemes to rid his condos pond of Canada geese. Clay compiles their stories, invasively providing context in the form of footnotes that lead always, somehow, back to Eli. Behind Clays task--which seems insane, definitely doomed, and, as the pages turn, increasingly suspect--burns his desire to understand his brother's death and the city that has defined and ruined them both.
Due to inclement weather and travel advisories, all Howard County Library System branches are closed today. Items scheduled for contactless pickup today will be held through Friday, August 7, without making a new reservation.