Saturday, February 19, 2011

Model Home

So ... I read Eric Puchner's Model Home in a rush of two days this week (an impressive rate with my schedule these days) and I have to say, it was beautifully written and touched me in ways that are still resonating. I know I saw many elements of my own marriage reflected in the prose, and suspect you will as well if you take my advice and read this frequently laugh-out-loud funny novel. I guess that is why it affected me as much as it did. I kept hoping for a "happy" ending for the Ziller family, but none was forthcoming ... which, I suspect, is realistic and made the novel sing so truly.

The first half (Summer 1985 - the year I graduated from high school) was truly amusingly bittersweet and still gave the reader a sense of everything working out for this collection of characters. The second half (Summer 1986) dashed that sense into microscopic pieces, but I can't say I was angry, or upset ... for no matter how painful life is, we keep moving homeward towards an unknown destination.

I had a similar sense of resignated loss at the end of the Coen Brothers' film A Serious Man ... which, if you haven't seen, you should ... especially if you read Puchner's very human novel, which I wholeheartedly recommend.