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Halfway House by Katharine Noel
  

Halfway House

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Angie, seventeen, is a star pupil and swimmer with a seemingly assured future – when she has a psychotic breakdown. This haunting and affecting debut novel explores not just Angieâs inner turmoil but the collateral damage it inflicts on her family as they evolve and adapt to the crisis in their midst. Definitely a book worth reading and talking about.

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Synopsis

Halfway House by Katharine Noel

One day, Angie Voorster - diligent student, all-star swimmer, and Ivy League-bound high school senior - dives to the bottom of a pool and stays there. In that moment, everything the Voorster family believes they know about one another changes. Katharine Noelâs extraordinary debut illuminates the fault lines in one familyâs relationships, as well as the complex emotional ties that bind them together. Halfway House is the story of Angieâs psychotic break and her familyâs subsequent turmoil. Angie is a charismatic young woman - brilliant, witty, and passionate - until she swings to manic highs or dangerous lows. Each of her family members responds differently to the ongoing crisis: Her father Pieter, a Dutch-born professional cellist, retreats further into his music; her mother begins a destabilizing affair with a younger man; her younger brother, Luke, first distances himself as much as possible from his sister, then later drops out of college to be closer to her. And Lukeâs college girlfriend Wendy, who comes from a farming town in Iowa, provides an outsiderâs perspective on the familyâs teeter toward collapse. The Voorsters manage for a time to maintain a semblance of the normalcy they had 'before', when they were the ideal New England family; it is not until Angie is finally able to fend for herself that the family is able to truly fall apart and then regather itself in a new, fundamentally changed way.

Reviews

‘In Katharine Noelâs stunning debut novel, family life is revealed - laid open - in all its love and warmth and, yes, its darkness, too. Mother and daughter, husband and wife, sister and brother, father and son: each character lives on the page, and together they teach us the best lessons of fiction: how we live, and how we live through crisis. I was enthralled.â Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausenâs Pier

'A beautiful debut novel' Daily Mail

'a sure-footed debut' The New York Times

About the Author

Katharine Noel is a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where she formerly held a Stegner Fellowship. Her writing has won grants from the Henfield-Transatlantic, Barbara Deming, and Rona Jaffe foundations, and was included in Best New American Voices 2003. She currently lives in San Francisco, where she is at work on her second novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd May 2007

Author

Katharine Noel

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Author's Website

www.katharinenoel.com

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Publisher

Judy Piatkus Publishers Ltd

Format

Paperback
352 pages

Categories

Family Drama
Literary Fiction
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780749937737

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