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A day at the beach
Helen Shulman
Adult Fiction SCHULMA

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Schulman (P.S.; The Revisionist) doesn't disappoint with this narrative spanning 24 terrible hours in the life of the Falktopf family on a certain September day. Husband and wife Gerhard and Suzannah, somewhat mismatched, struggle to come to terms with each other, the turns their lives have begun to take and their artsy downtown Manhattan existence. Suzannah is a 36-year-old former dancer turned stay-at-home mother of autistic son Nikolai, while choreographer Gerhard is autodidactic, worldly, anal retentive and unaffectionate, and has just been notified by his dance company's board that he is to be replaced by someone "committed to the spirit of the early Gerhard Falktopf" and that the company is trying to usurp his works, including his crowning achievement, yet-to-be-premiered A Day at the Beach. The Falktopfs watch (separately: Suzannah from their apartment, Gerhard from a nearby bank) in horror as the towers burn and collapse before fleeing to East Hampton. There, Gerhard and Suzannah navigate their troubled marriage and a few moral predicaments brought on by chance meetings with long-lost friends. Schulman's novel succeeds as a haunting, poignant remembrance. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The events of 9/11 are at the center of this engrossing novel, which takes place in the course of 24 hours. Choreographer Gerhard Falktopf and his wife, Suzannah, his former principal ballerina, begin the morning of 9/11 in their loft apartment in New York. As Suzannah makes breakfast and tends to their four-year-old son, Nickolai, Gerhard fumes on the phone to his lawyer, who happens to be breakfasting at Windows on the World, about losing his dance company. When the planes hit the towers, Gerhard responds by packing up his family and driving to the Hamptons to hole up in a friend's beach house, where the rest of the novel plays out. Schulman's (P.S.) expertise lies in not letting the tragic events overshadow the story of the Falktopfs; the narrative is as much about ballet, relationships, New York lifestyle, ethnicity, and child rearing as it is about a well-known catastrophe. Schulman juxtaposes the horror of 9/11 with the small details of everyday life, thereby giving this story a depth and realism that disturbingly recalls the events of the day while also transforming them into art. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.-Joy Humphrey, Pepperdine Law Lib., Malibu, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Gerhard Falktopf
Male
Married
Worldly; retentive; unaffectionate; being replaced at his dance company; trying to save his work from being stolen; watches the World Trade Center towers fall.
Choreographer

Susannah Falktopf
Female
Age: 36
Married
Gerhard's wife; former dancer; stay-at-home mother of her autistic son; watches the World Trade Center towers fall.
Homemaker



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