The Exact Nature of Our WrongsBook - 2017
Gathering on a summer evening to celebrate the birthday of their ailing patriarch, the Campbell family confronts the difficult realities of an offspring's addiction problems, his mother's enabling behaviors and his siblings' conflicted views. By the National Book Award finalist author of The River Beyond the World.
"A brilliantly moving and unforgettable novel." - Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life
Janet Peery’s first novel, The River Beyond the World, was a National Book Award finalist in 1996. Acclaimed for her gorgeous writing and clear-eyed gaze into the hearts of people, Peery now returns with her second novel, The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs.
On a summer evening in the blue-collar town of Amicus, Kansas, the Campbell family gathers for a birthday dinner for their ailing patriarch, retired judge Abel Campbell, prepared and hosted by their still-hale mother Hattie. But when Billy, the youngest sibling—with a history of addiction, grand ideas, and misdemeanors—passes out in his devil’s food cake, the family takes up the unfinished business of Billy’s sobriety.
Billy’s wayward adventures have too long consumed their lives, in particular Hattie’s, who has enabled his transgressions while trying to save him from Abel’s disappointment. As the older children—Doro, Jesse, ClairBell, and Gideon—contend with their own troubles, they compete for the approval of the elderly parents they adore, but can’t quite forgive.
With knowing humor and sure-handed storytelling, Janet Peery reveals a family at its best and worst, with old wounds and new, its fractures and feuds, and yet its unbreakable bonds.
Gathering on a summer evening to celebrate the birthday of their ailing patriarch, the Campbell family confronts the difficult realities of an offspring's addiction problems, his mother's enabling behaviors, and his siblings' conflicted views.