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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

This is the authors first novel, and her voice reminds me of Curtis Sittenfeld, who I like very much.  Veblen and Paul are getting ready for their upcoming marriage.  He is in the middle of an experiment that could make him both rich and famous, and may be a bit distracted and not at his best as a result.  But their first meeting with each of their families does not go at all well.  Veblen's mother uses her hypochondriasis to keep everyone around her very close and Paul seems like a real threat to her now limited hold on Veblen.  Her father has resided in a mental institution for years and may be the healthier member of the parents.  Paul's family is equally damaged.  his parents lives revolve around his older brother who has some sort of mental condition and Paul spent his childhood being marginalized and afraid to bring anyone home to see his family.  They have both left home in many ways, but as their marriage gets closer, several things combine to derail them.  It is a very good read and I highly recommend it.

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