Chorus: A Novel

Category: Book
By (author): Kauffman, Rebecca
Subject:  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Historical
  FICTION / Small Town & Rural
Publisher: Catapult
Published: March 2022
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 272
Size: 8.25in x 5.50in
Our Price:
$ 34.00
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*For readers of Alice Munro, Elizabeth Strout, and Claire Lombardo, Chorus shepherds seven siblings through two life-altering events-their mother's untimely death, and a shocking teenage pregnancy-that ultimately follow them through their lives as individuals and as a family.

The seven Shaw siblings have long been haunted by two early and profoundly consequential events. Told in turns from the early twentieth century through the 1950s, each sibling relays their own version of the memories that surround both their mother's mysterious death and the circumstances of one sister's scandalous teenage pregnancy. As they move into adulthood, the siblings assume new roles: caretaker to their aging father, addict, enabler, academic, decorated veteran, widow, and mothers and fathers to the next generation.
Entangled in a family knot, the Shaw siblings face divorce, drama, and death while haunted by a mother who was never truly there. Through this lens, they all seek not only to understand how her death shaped their family, but also to illuminate the insoluble nature of the many familial experiences we all encounter-the concept of home, the tenacity that is a family's love, and the unexpected ways through which healing can occur.
Chorus is a hopeful story of family, of loss and recovery, of complicated relationships forged between brothers and sisters as they move through life together, and of the unlikely forces that first drive them away and then ultimately back home.
Review Quote*"Kauffman's luminous latest showcases her knack for delving into the hearts of her characters . . . Vibrant . . . Adds up to a superbly executed saga." -Publishers Weekly, (starred review)

"Kauffman has written a deceptively light tale about the heart of a family healing around a defining loss and siblings sustaining each other through adulthood, with lovely phrases and prose throughout. Though the sections are never weighty, together they form a satisfying story of complicated relationships against the backdrop of a ‘beautiful world [with] a forked tongue.' A comforting and pastoral novel." -Kirkus Reviews

"Lovely . . . Readable and compelling . . . The novel's arrangement feels meaningful as turning-point moments in the sibling's lives take center stage, one after the other . . . Kauffman's writing style renders complex dynamics in simple, impactful language and scenes." -Booklist

"Readers . . . will be happy to see [Kauffman] return with this packed family tale." -Library Journal

"Rebecca Kauffman's compact and ingeniously-arranged Chorus depicts the Shaw family and its long-held secrets with admirable clarity, as well as a sympathetic understanding of the good intentions and misjudgments that give rise to those secrets in the first place. As she guides us through the episodes of the Shaws' lives-each glittering with the mysterious warmth of an heirloom ornament on a Christmas tree-Kauffman makes us freshly aware of how the people most dear to us, like the organs of the body, are hidden simply by virtue of being so vital and so close." -Martin Seay, author of The Mirror Thief

"Rebecca Kauffman is one of our finest literary architects. With unusual empathy, she drafts complex portraits of people, revealing the humanity present in even the most flawed being. In Chorus, she elegantly charts the nuanced connections and fractures between family members, crafting her story from fleeting moments, shivers of understanding, always illuminating the sweetness and sorrow that exists in even the smallest detail." -David Connerley Nahm, author of Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky

"As vast, clear, and iconic as only timeless stories are, Kauffman's Chorus is a key: meet the Shaw family and discover, in its infinite and invisible complexity, the universal core of your own." -Rebecca Dinerstein Knight, author of Hex and The Sunlit Night

"Chorus is an intimate, affecting, and exquisite portrait of an American family that feels as real as any I've ever known. Deeply wounded by the absence of their mother-during her life as well as after her mysterious death-the Shaw children find their fiercest and most defining bonds with each other. This is the private account of their secrets, desires, resentments, affections, the unspoken grief of leaving one home behind to form another, and a family's very idea of itself. I loved it." -Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints
Biographical NoteRebecca Kauffman received her M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University. She is the author of Another Place You've Never Been, which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, The Gunners, which received the Premio Tribuk dei Librai award, and The House on Fripp Island. Originally from rural northeastern Ohio, she now lives in Virginia.