Among the Ten Thousand Things.
Booklist Reviews 2015 June #1
There is nothing unusual about the plot of Pierpont's first novel about a New York family of four. Jack is caught having an affair, and now he and his wife, Deborah, and the kids, 15-year-old Simon and 11-year-old Kay, have to figure out how to deal with it. Although countless novels take flight from this predicament, Pierpont's concentrated domestic drama is piquantly distinctive, from its balance of humor and sorrow to its provocatively off-kilter syntax, original and resonant descriptions, bristling dialogue, snaky psychological insights, and escalating tension. And all the particulars are intriguing. Jack, a Texan, is a successful artist about to detonate his career. Deborah is a former ballerina turned teacher who, having grown up in the suburbs, is a touch intimidated by her city kids. The revelation of Jack's affair hits Simon and Kay like a bomb. As they reel, their grandmothers are pulled into the maelstrom, and certain family members behave atrociously. With acid wit and thoughtful melancholy, Pierpont catalogs the wreckage, mourns the death of innocence, and measures varying degrees of recovery, achieving a Salingeresque ambience. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2015 February #1
They look like a golden couple, but former ballet dancer Deb is starting to regret her marriage to too-cool sculptor Jack and throws herself into raising Simon and sweet, innocent Kay. Alas, it's Kay who opens the package addressed to Deb containing email evidence of Jack's torrid affair. Pierpont received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Graduate Fellowship and a Stein Fellowship while attending the NYU Creative Writing Program.[Page 58]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
LJ Reviews 2015 April #2
Recent MFA grad Pierpont's first novel is an expertly crafted story of a family in crisis. She opens with a letter to Deb, a married mother of two, from the "other woman." In a cruel twist, Deb's 11-year-old daughter, Kay, finds the epistle first, along with copies of all the dirty and romantic emails her father, Jack, sent his mistress. This disturbing episode throws the reader into the middle of the family drama that may not be distinct but perhaps has never been this well articulated. The author plays with the narrative, giving us a snapshot of the characters' lives to come over the following decades before zeroing in on the immediate aftermath. After a few disastrous weeks coping at home in Manhattan, Deb takes the kids to a family beach house in Rhode Island, while Jack, an installation artist at a crossroads in his career, flies to Texas. We hear alternating perspectives from Jack, Deb, Kay, and 15-year-old Simon, all of whom are richly drawn and heartbreakingly sympathetic. VERDICT Pierpont wields words like beautiful weapons. This short novel is a treat for fans of Jonathan Franzen, Jami Attenberg, and Emma Straub, and shows off an exciting new voice on the literary landscape. [See Prepub Alert, 1/12/15.]—Kate Gray, Worcester P.L., MA[Page 80]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2015 February #1
The perennial theme of marital infidelity is given a brisk, insightful, and sophisticated turn in Pierpont's impressive debut. When their father's emails to his former mistress are inadvertently discovered by siblings Kay Shanley, 11, and Simon, 15, the result is the unraveling of the family. Their father, Jack Shanley, is a well-known conceptual artist and self-indulgent seducer, and he sees his career go downhill due to a variety of circumstances. Deb, his wife, carries guilt from having broken up Jack's first marriage, only to realize that he's an inveterate womanizer who feels his indiscretions should be forgiven. Pierpont's keen observational gaze illuminates a strata of Manhattan society in which money and privilege abide alongside the gritty, drug-and-alcohol-fueled margins of social behavior. She is also particularly adept at portraying alienation in the young (Kay starts writing dirty Seinfeld fan fiction in a notebook; Simon reads The Fountainhead because he knows his mother doesn't want him to) and the parents' awkward attempts to communicate with their self-protective children. Her sense of humor surfaces, especially in a scene at a gallery opening, when Jack's carefully planned and shocking installation goes awry. Pierpont throws an audacious twist midway through the book, giving the slow, painful denouement a heartbreaking inevitability. This novel leaves an indelible portrait of lives blown off course by bad choices, loss of trust, and an essential inability to communicate. (July)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC