One of Kirkus' Best Books of 2016
Crisis is looming for three generations of the Olyphant family.
In less than a year, Henrietta has lost her husband and nearly all of her money, and is about to lose her hard-won anonymity. After a lifetime spent trying to outrun the humiliation her own book caused her, Henrietta has reluctantly agreed to a reissue of The Inseparables, the salaciously filthy and critically despised bestseller she wrote decades earlier.
At the same time, her daughter, Oona, has moved back home to the house that Henrietta needs to sell. Oona is in the middle of a divorce from her husband, Spencer, a corporate-law refugee, stay-at-home dad, and unapologetic stoner. And Oona's teenage daughter, Lydia, away at boarding school, is facing an onslaught of scrutiny and shame when a nude photo of her goes viral.
The trouble only gets worse: Henrietta makes an upsetting discovery about her late husband; Oona embarks on a disastrous affair; and Lydia must deal with an ex-boyfriend who is determined to wreak havoc. Over the course of a few tumultuous days, the Olyphant women must come to terms with their past and try to reimagine their future.
Incisive, moving, and wickedly funny, The Inseparables examines what happens when our most carefully constructed ideas about our lives unravel, and we begin to reinvent ourselves--and our family--anew.
Nadler's (Wise Men) perceptive novel of a modern family unraveling revolves around three generations of women. Henrietta Olyphant is a recently widowed women's studies professor, and the author of a decades-old trashy, sexy novel called The Inseparables, which is set to be reissued. Oona, Henrietta's daughter, is divorcing her husband. And Oona's daughter, Lydia, has suffered the misfortune of having a topless photo of her spread like wildfire around her private school. Without her husband, Henrietta struggles to keep up appearances and is forced to sell her home and possessions to pay the bills. Lydia worries that the boy who stole the photo from her phone will continue to release scandalous photos of her. Oona complicates her sad divorce and her relationship with her daughter by getting romantically involved with her couples counselor. Throughout each scene, Nadler captures the awkwardness of growing older during all phases of life. The characters share humiliations, yet also find the resilience to move on. This novel contains plenty of romance, tension, and tenderness to make for a rich and compelling read.