A sharp and bitingly funny novel about a professor whose calm-ish midwestern life gives way to a vortex of crises-and her attempts to salvage the pieces without going to pieces herself
In the space of a few torrid months on the Iowa prairie, Phillipa Maakestad-long-married theater professor and mother of an unstable daughter-grapples with a life turned upside down. After falling headlong into a passionate affair during a semester spent teaching in Ohio, Phillipa returns home to Iowa for her daughter Ginny's wedding. There, Phillipa must endure (among other things) a wedding-day tornado, a menace of a mother-in-law who may or may not have been a Nazi collaborator, and the tragicomic revenge fantasies of her heretofore docile husband.
Naturally, she does what any newly liberated woman would do: she takes a match to her life on the prairie and then steps back to survey the wreckage.
Set in the seething political climate of a contentious election, Thisbe Nissen's new novel is sexy, smart, and razor-sharp-a freight train barreling through the heart of the land and the land of the heart.