A turf war between neighbors leads to a small-town crisis in this sharply observed debut novel perfect for fans of Tom Perrotta, Meg Wolitzer, and Celeste Ng.
The white elephant looms large over the town of Willard Park: a newly-constructed behemoth of a home, it towers over the quaint houses, including Allison and Ted Millers’ tiny hundred year old home. When owner Nick Cox cuts down the Millers’ precious red maple—in an effort to make his unsightly property more appealing to buyers—their once serene town becomes a battleground.
While tensions between Ted and Nick escalate, other dysfunctions abound: Allison finds herself compulsively drawn to the man who threatens to upend her quietly organized life. A lawyer with a pot habit and a serious mid-life crisis skirts his responsibilities. And in a quest for popularity, a teenage girl gets caught up in a not-so-harmless prank. Newcomers and longtime residents alike clash in conflicting pursuits of the American Dream, with trees mysteriously uprooted, fingers pointed, and lines drawn.
White Elephant is a tangled-web tale of a community on the verge and its all-too-human inhabitants, who long to connect but can’t seem to find the words. It's a story about opposing sides struggling to find a middle ground—a parable for our times.