US & Canada Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc (February 2012, Ed. Jonathan Galassi , 336 pages)
A beautiful new novel about the consequences of pursuing the American dream, by an author “exquisitely tuned to his characters’ hopes, uncertainties and misgivings” (The Seattle Times)
Norumbega Park begins with a vision. Richie Palumbo, the most prosaic of men gets lost one night in 1969 while driving home with his family. He finds himself in the town of Norumbega – a hidden town, remote and gorgeous, at the far edges of Boston’s western suburbs. He sees an old, venerable house there, and without quite knowing why, decides he must have it. The repercussions of Richie’s wild dream – to own a house in this town – lead to a forty-year odyssey for his family. For Jack, his son, Norumbega becomes a sexual playground, until he meets one ungraspable girl and begins a lifelong pursuit of her. For Joannie, Richie’s daughter, the challenges of living here lead her to pursue the contemplative life. For Stella, Richie’s wife, life in Norumbega leads to surprising growth as both a sexual and spritual being.
Norumbega Park by Anthony Giardina, the critically acclaimed author of White Guys, is a novel about class and parental dreams, sex and spirituality, the way visions conflict with stubborn reality, and a family’s ability to open up, for others, a world they could never fully grasp for themselves.