November 20, 2013

Wish List Wednesday #149: Robert Jackson Bennett's "American Elsewhere"

WLW is a recurring blog segment in which I highlight a book I have on my wish list. Sometimes it's a new release, sometimes a beloved classic, and sometimes it's a hidden gem.

Ah, America. That tarted-up hot mess of a country is an obsession for us all. It's the nation equivalent of Paris Hilton: beautiful, successful, inexplicably impervious to criticism, and not all that bright. Oh, I kid. After all, I opine from my home in what is America's plain Jane hanger-on, Canada.

Anyway, there are novels that come around every now and again that offer a funhouse mirror to the American dream, and from some of the reviews I've read about American Elsewhere, it looks like Robert Jackson Bennett may have done just that.

Suburbia must be an American invention, with picturesque landscapes eroded by the metastasizing sprawl of its metropolises. And it's in one such patch of humdrummery that Bennett sets his novel. Wink, New Mexico is not on any map, and maybe for good reason, as an ex-police officer inherits her mother's house and soon finds the neighboring houses may look the same, but inside are very, very different. Looking to piece together the life of her estranged mother, secrets seem to be deeply rooted in Wink and everyone around her would rather those secrets stay beneath the surface.

Sound like something you'd be interested in reading, too? Have you read it already? Is so, leave a comment and let you know what you thought of it.

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