Author: Andrew Porter
Publisher: Alfred Knopf, 2012
The Harding family of Houston, Texas, is one highly dysfunctional group – and their story is absolutely mesmerizing. Andrew Porter had me at page one of “In Between Days.”
Elson and Cadence are still adjusting to their divorced status, Richard, 20-something has one foot in the adult world and one foot in mother’s world, and daughter Chloe is a college student back East. Her abrupt return from school, ejected by the administration for reasons she refuses to disclose or discuss, is the catalyst that rallies these people into a semblance of a family. They had all lived separate lives under the same roof for years, then under separate roofs after the divorce. Chloe’s dilemma represents the first common ground this group has ever shared.
To emphasize how unconnected these family members are, Porter masterfully introduces each character individually, allowing the reader to feel the insularity of each person. When private detectives and government agents start showing up to question the Hardings, they circle the wagons, in their dysfunctional way. Porter then dances us to the end of this tale with an exhilarating to-and-fro as he reveals the truth of Chloe’s dilemma bit by bit. With each bit, the Hardings reveal more about themselves to each other and to themselves. Just when you think you know what happens next, there is a new development.
Not until the final three pages will you know how this story “ends.” If you care at all about excellent writing, intriguing storylines, character development, human behavior, family relationships, or just plain great reading, do not miss this book.
Maggie Gust is a life-long avid reader whose career path has included working as a teacher and in various positions in the health care field. A native of Illinois, she has lived in Florida since 1993 and presently works from her home here on Marco Island. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org