Community Board: A Novel (Hardcover)
The New York Times bestselling author of The Last Romantics delivers a wise, timely, big-hearted novel of unplanned isolation and newly forged community.
Where does one go, you might ask, when the world falls apart? When the immutable facts of your life—the mundane, the trivial, the take-for-granted minutiae that once filled every second of every day—suddenly disappear? Where does one go in such dire and unexpected circumstances?
I went home, of course.
MURBRIDGE COMMUNITY MESSAGE BOARD
FREE: 500 cans of corn. Accidentally ordered them online. I really hate corn. Happy to help load.
REMINDER: use your own goddamn garbage can for your own goddamn pet waste. I’m looking at you Peter Luflin.
REMINDER: monthly Select Board meeting this Friday. Agenda items: 1) sludge removal; 2) upkeep of chime tower; 3) ice rink monitor thank you gift. Questions? Contact Hildegard Hyman, HHMurbridge@gmail.com
Darcy Clipper, prodigal daughter, nearly thirty, has returned home to Murbridge, Massachusetts, after her life takes an unwelcome left turn. Murbridge, Darcy is convinced, will welcome her home and provide a safe space in which she can nurse her wounds and harbor grudges, both real and imagined.
But Murbridge, like so much else Darcy thought to be fixed and immutable, has changed. And while Darcy’s first instinct might be to hole herself up in her childhood bedroom, subsisting on Chef Boy-R-Dee and canned chickpeas, it is human nature to do two things: seek out meaningful human connection and respond to anonymous internet postings. As Murbridge begins to take shape around Darcy, both online and in person, Darcy will consider the most fundamental of American questions: What can she ask of her community? And what does she owe it in return?
Tara Conklin was born on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands and raised in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Last Romantics and The House Girl.
“A brilliant, hilarious look at modern-day community and the distance between who we are and who we say we are. Insightful, honest, and surprisingly sly. I loved this book.” — Maria Semple
“Oh, how I loved this delightful, unputdownable novel! A pitch-perfect comedy of manners, a balm for difficult times, a charming coming of age story, Community Board is ultimately the literary equivalent of a warm hug.”
— Joanna Rakoff, bestselling author of My Salinger Year
“I can’t believe how good this book is! Tara Conklin once again dazzles with a hilarious, heartfelt, and wholly original tale. She writes about depression and grief with such a light touch, and her mesmerizing sentences immediately draw you into this quirky and fun community—one I was sad to leave behind! Read this!”
— Etaf Rum, author of the New York Times bestseller A Woman Is No Man
“Sometimes we’re not ready to jump. We need a little push. When Darcy Clipper — a heroine for the ages — gets a major shove, she finds herself in a brave new world of second chances, radical decisions, and transformative change. Funny, cinematic, and heartfelt, Community Board is a propulsive delight.” — Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Exiles
"Timely and hilarious! For all its madcap glory, COMMUNITY BOARD is a sweet and surprisingly plausible tale for our time."
— Jonathan Evison, author of Small World
“Tara Conklin’s brilliance jumps from the pages of this quirky delicious delight. I loved every second of this fabulous take on community and the on-line board that unites them.”
— Jane L. Rosen, author of Eliza Starts a Rumor
"A bittersweet, laugh-out-loud novel...Community Board is a crafty send-up about one woman struggling to come to terms with--and rebuild--her battered self-esteem.... Darcy may seem a poor soul, but her sharp, bright, enlightened mind--and her snarky, lovably endearing narrative voice, supplemented with zany e-mails and community posts--will easily win the affection of readers rooting wholeheartedly for her reinvention." — Shelf Awareness
“Conklin delivers a winning third novel, with Darcy’s smart, introspective voice at the heart of it. Her unconventional adventures (often hilarious, always interesting) drive home the importance of community and how important it is to show up and participate.” — Booklist
“Conklin has created a heartening look at a community whose people realize they're better together than alone.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Tara Conklin is a generous writer who deftly brings us into the world of this fictional family, an engrossing and vivid place where I was happy to stay. The Last Romantics is a richly observed novel, both ambitious and welcoming.” — Meg Wolitzer on The Last Romantics
“It is the strength and fragility of the siblings’ bond, the evolving nature of love that is at the core of Conklin’s novel....Gracefully rendered, The Last Romantics focuses on the familiar theme of family with great originality.” — Washington Post on The Last Romantics
“Conklin examines her characters’ lives with generosity and an unflinching eye for the complexities of love and family.... Fans of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections will find similar pleasures in the intelligence and empathy on display here.” — USA Today (four stars) on The Last Romantics
“A modern epic...in the vein of Commonwealth, The Last Romantics is a sweeping look at what binds families together.” — Glamour
“Conklin is an accomplished storyteller.... In its elegiac final chapter, The Last Romantics leaves its characters—and its dazzled readers—surrounded by a halo of love.” — Seattle Times
“Pick up The Last Romantics when you want to be swept into a fictional family....As the narrative traces [the Skinner siblings’] converging and diverging paths over the course of their lives—and promises made, kept, broken, changed—you’ll fall deeper and deeper in.” — Goop on The Last Romantics