The Unfolding is award-winning novelist A.M. Homes's first novel since May We Be Forgiven (2012), and it is a riotously and unsettlingly funny look at one family's unraveling in the wake of the 2008 election. The Big Guy has made his life the Republican Party for years, which is why McCain's loss in the 2008 presidential election comes as such a blow. Following this turning point, his nearly catatonic wife, Charlotte, has finally admitted she's an alcoholic, but her stint in rehab is unearthing secrets he'd rather not face. And his usually obedient 18-year-old daughter, Meghan, is starting to question everything from his treatment of her mother to his history lessons. Yes, change is afoot. Now the only question is: What will the Big Guy do about it?
The Unfolding, like Homes's previous works, is packed with her particular brand of irreverent dark humor, which can simultaneously provoke and probe, frustrate and illuminate. Despite its topical and prescient elements, which certainly pack their own ideological punches, the novel is at its best when it's examining the intricacies of its characters. Meghan, in particular, stands out as a startlingly original and yet deeply resonant millennial daughter who experiences the end of her parents' world as the beginning of her own. With its pitch-perfect dialogue and antic pace, The Unfolding is both a return to form for Homes (Days of Awe) and an unsettling vision of the tender belly beneath some of the most terrifying dilemmas of the times. --Alice Martin, freelance writer and editor