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Roxana Robinson
Adult Fiction ROBINSO

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Julia Lambert is a New York art professor spending the summer in Maine with her elderly father, a domineering neurosurgeon, and mother, a gentle soul succumbing to Alzheimer's. Julia's oldest son, Steven, joins the clan as tragic news surfaces: her second son, Jack, is addicted to heroin. Ex-husband Wendell, Julia's distant sister Harriet and Jack himself soon arrive, and intervention is on the agenda. Jack refuses to go quietly, and Robinson, who has worked in multiple genres (including penning a biography of Georgia O'Keeffe), engulfs the clan in a sea of resentment and repressed hostility, spiked with the intermittent need to feel close. Her unrelenting look at the deep physical and mental distress involved in heroin abuse is not for the faint of heart, with key portions of the drama unfolding through descriptions of Jack's perpetually itching skin, twitching muscles, heaving stomach, needle-tracked arms and addled brain. While the omniscient narration sometimes loses focus, Robinson offers adept closeups of family trauma. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The mildly strained Lambert family is in terrible trouble. New York art professor Julia is spending the summer in her ramshackle Maine home with her very elderly parents. Julia's older son, Steven, arrives for a visit and shatters the surface serenity with his suspicion that his younger brother, Jack, is a heroin addict spiraling out of control. When Steve's worst fears are confirmed, Julia's ex-husband, Wendell, brings Jack to Maine for an intervention, conducted by Ralph Carpenter, a tough ex-addict who runs a Florida recovery program. Robinson's fourth novel (after Sweetwater) spares her fictional family nothing in this tale of hell. Each of the Lamberts is forced to look down the wrong end of the heroin needle, one horrific, sordid, heartbreaking detail after another. With exquisitely raw honesty, Robinson offers no hope for this nearly always-deadly addiction. As Jack's descent picks up speed toward the end, the Lamberts are drowning in the kind of intolerable grief borne of having to mourn the loss of a loved one before the heart stops beating. Highly recommended.--Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Julia Lambert
Art professor; spending her summer vacation in Maine with her elderly father, a neurosurgeon, and her mother who suffers from Alzheimer's; has two sons; youngest son is addicted to heroin; involves the family in an intervention for her son.

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