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Publisher's Summary

An exhilarating novel about one American family, the dark moment that shatters their suburban paradise, and the wild legacy of trauma and inheritance, from the New York Times best-selling author of Fleishman Is in Trouble

In 1982, a wealthy businessman named Carl Fletcher is kidnapped from his driveway in the nicest part of Long Island, brutalized, and held for ransom. He is returned to his wife and sons a week later, only slightly the worse for wear, and the family begins the hard work of trying to move on with their lives and resume their prized places in the saga of the American dream.

But 25 years later, when Carl's mother dies and the family comes home to mourn her, the unprocessed drama finally rises to the surface for the entire family: Carl, the prickly, still-terrified father, who has been secretly seeking closure to the matter of his kidnapping for years; his wife, Ruth, who has spent her potential protecting her husband's emotional health; and their three grown children: Nathan, who is trying to stay on the promotion track at his law firm; Beamer, a Hollywood producer, who will consume anything—substance, foodstuff, women—in order to numb his own perpetual terror; and Jenny, the cool observer who spends her life so bent on proving that she is not a product of the family's pathology that she comes to define it.

Long Island Compromise spans the entirety of one family's history, winding through decades and generations all the way through the wild present, and deals with all the mainstays of American Jewish life: tradition, the pursuit of success, the fear of history, old wives' tales, evil eyes, orgies, dybbuks, hippies, right-wing capitalists, and the mostly unspoken love and shared experience that unites a family forever.

©2021 Taffy Brodesser-Akner (P)2021 Random House Audio

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