The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs
St. Martin's Press
On Sale: September 19, 2017
Hardcover / e-Book
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Janet Peery’s first novel, The River Beyond the World,
was a National Book Award finalist in 1996. Acclaimed for
her gorgeous writing and clear-eyed gaze into the hearts
of people, Peery now returns with her second novel, The
Exact Nature of Our Wrongs.
On a summer evening in the blue-collar town of Amicus,
Kansas, the Campbell family gathers for a birthday dinner
for their ailing patriarch, retired judge Abel Campbell,
prepared and hosted by their still-hale mother Hattie.
But when Billy, the youngest sibling—with a history of
addiction, grand ideas, and misdemeanors—passes out in
his devil’s food cake, the family takes up the unfinished
business of Billy’s sobriety.
Billy’s wayward adventures have too long consumed their
lives, in particular Hattie’s, who has enabled his
transgressions while trying to save him from Abel’s
disappointment. As the older children—Doro, Jesse,
ClairBell, and Gideon—contend with their own troubles,
they compete for the approval of the elderly parents they
adore, but can’t quite forgive.
With knowing humor and sure-handed storytelling, Janet
Peery reveals a family at its best and worst, with old
wounds and new, its fractures and feuds, and yet its
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