A Regular Guy : A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Mona Simpson's first two novels, Anywhere But Here and The Lost Father, won her literary renown and a wide following. Now, in her third novel, the narrator Ann Atassi has been replaced by a third-person narrator recounting the adventures of young Jane di Natali, but the theme remains the same: the search for, and the attempt to understand, the absent father.
This time the father is a millionaire biotechnology magnate named Tom Owens. Into Owens's charmed life comes Jane, born out of wedlock, raised in communes, and now dispatched into his care by a mother who is no longer capable of providing it; Tom is far from ready for this responsibility. Fans of Simpson's previous novels will not be disappointed by this excursion into the cracked world of family relations.
"Simpson is an attentive observer and a fluent stylist, but it is the element of subtle surprise that draws us through these pages, the magnetism of an original mind that holds us fast."
thought of the small picture of Louise’s father on her lab bench, his uneven shoes. Now he wished he’d said it didn’t matter to him if his wife was Jewish. In the morning, he got up first so she wouldn’t see, then wheeled to the bathroom. He liked thinking that she’d wake to the sounds of water in a bath. Noah had some ideas about how to live, and he could appreciate increments. His family had never been like that. They had to have it all perfect, or the rest was wrecked. Noah’s favorite part
was lying on the floor, having tea with Bixter, who’d come in on the Greyhound bus. Her one eye went off to the left and the other other stayed still, always. Jane was weighing this life in the bungalow against his. For the first time, she knew she could live with Owens, and this ticked in her like a small, safe bomb. She either noticed things more at home or they bothered her more. Bixter offered to read her palm, and Jane said no, thank you, she had homework. Her mother followed her into her
who risked nothing but only played the better part of the soft day. Looking at the red-leafed trees, he considered what to do. “I’m going to sell all my Genesis stock tomorrow,” he finally said. “I think the value’ll rise, but to stand by rooting for them would be too conflicted a life. I’ll sell all but a dollar’s worth, so I can still get the annual report.” A smile flickered under his lips. It would cost them between seven and eight dollars to produce and mail him that report. The two men
afternoon, when they parked in their driveway, Julie was hauling a long table in over the lawn. They helped her manuever it through the door and then let it down gently by the front window. Julie arranged the chairs she already had around it, then took out candles and placed a pitcher of flowers in the center. Now she had a dining room, and Jane thought you could just see that every night, dinner would be different. “A hundred bucks,” Julie said. And all they’d had was their day. Julie bought
into downtrodden sandals. Jane’s sneakers somehow stayed white and her turned-down socks perfectly even. He wondered where they were going, then Jane hurried into the lab, balancing a tall cake. He was so happy somebody had remembered his birthday besides his family. And everyone in the lab, including Louise, would see. “Shouldn’t you be in school?” he teased, then realized from her face that he’d said exactly the wrong thing. “I don’t go to school, Noah. I want to go, but they won’t let me.”