"No reader should pass this by." -- Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less
Joe Henry was the glue that held his family together. Now he is dead, and his wife and sons are coming together for one final journey to scatter his ashes. First, however, his loved ones have some things to work out.
David, the older son, believes that any minute his life is going to fall apart and everyone he loves will leave him. His brother Scott can't shake the belief that at heart, people are inherently rotten. Doris, their mother, just doesn't believe in anything anymore.
Wickedly funny and biting, The Punch is an essential exploration of modern American grief, family violence, and redemption from the bestselling author of Before the Fall and creator of the Emmy award-winning series FARGO.
"Noah Hawley really knows how to keep a reader turning the pages." -- New York Times
In his third novel, Hawley (Other People's Weddings) traces the path of Scott and David Henry as they prepare for their father's memorial service. Younger brother Scott stuck in a dead-end job, failing in love and a frequenter of San Francisco strip clubs is saddled with his alcoholic, self-destructing mother, Doris, on their trip to New York. Scott's successful sales executive and closeted bigamist brother, David, shares Doris duty while navigating memorial service preparations and secretly juggling marriages on both coasts. Along the way, a family secret is revealed, two hotels are nearly blown up and the trio explores what it means to be a family. Unfortunately, Hawley's asides on physics, religion and the nature of time distract from the plot without adding to it, and the occasional dud sentence pops up ("Now they circle their wagons and eye each other warily from the high towers of their castles"). However, the characters especially Doris and humorously handled uncomfortable situations (as when David's two wives meet) somewhat mitigate these shortcomings, and the memorial service at the legendary White Horse Tavern provides a rollicking climax.