“In 13 sharply drawn linked stories, Acampora reveals the complexities beneath the polish and privilege of a prosperous Connecticut town.”—People
A man strikes an under-the-table deal with a surgeon to spend a few quiet seconds closer to his wife than he’s ever been; a young soon-to-be mother looks on in paralyzing astonishment as her husband walks away from a twenty-year career in advertising at the urging of his spirit animal; an elderly artist risks more than he knows when he’s commissioned by his newly-arrived neighbors to produce the work of a lifetime.
In her stunning debut collection, The Wonder Garden, Lauren Acampora brings to the page with enchanting realism the myriad lives of a suburban town and lays them bare. These linked stories take a trenchant look at the flawed people of Old Cranbury, incisive tales that reveal at each turn the unseen battles we play out behind drawn blinds, the creeping truths from which we distract ourselves, and the massive dreams we haul quietly with us and hold close.
Deliciously creepy and masterfully complex The Wonder Garden heralds the arrival of a phenomenal new talent in American fiction.
“Like Wharton, Acampora seems to understand fiction as a kind of elegant design.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Acampora is a brilliant anthropologist of the suburbs . . . [The Wonder Garden] is reminiscent of John Cheever in its anatomizing of suburban ennui and of Ann Beattie in its bemused dissection of a colorful cast of eccentrics.”—Boston Globe
“Intelligent, unnerving, and very often strange . . . as irresistible as it is disturbing.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)