Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Schroder” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt


3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  3,690 Ratings  ·  641 Reviews
Attending summer camp as a boy, Erik Schroder -- a first generation East German immigrant -- adopts the name of Eric Kennedy, a decision that will set him on an improbable and transformative journey, SCHRODER relates the story of how years later, Erik finds himself on an urgent escape to Lake Champlain, Vermont with his daughter, hiding from authorities amidst a heated cus ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Twelve (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"

Not bad.
But nothing to call home about.
Or make foam about.
Or write a poem about.
Which I just did.
But not really.
Because it wrote itself.

This was an interesting concept for a novel, but it never achieved lift-off for me. I kept waiting for some revelations that would have made it worth my effort, but I never got to find out what I wanted to know. The narrator remains cagey right through to the end.

SCHRODER is a road novel in the form of a confessional apology, with scattered bits of per
Karina Gaige
Jul 19, 2012 Karina Gaige rated it it was amazing
I am reading the galley of my sister's new novel! I predict that it's going to be huge and Brad Pitt is going to produce and star in the movie version.
Sally Drake
Feb 26, 2013 Sally Drake rated it it was amazing
I thought this was brilliant. Such a strange story but it is so well written and the complicated characters so fully developed I found myself simultaneously sympathetic and horrified by Erik. And heartbroken for Meadow. Although the plot is bizarre, the story is ultimately about marriage and parenthood and how sometimes it can go so wrong, especially when you are pretending it is not. A great read.
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
Despite the horrible title, the uninspiring front cover picture, and the terrible blurb (on the back of the book - the blurb on GR is actually pretty decent) - this is an excellent book. It's the kind of book that from reading page one, I knew it was going to be wonderful and sat down to enjoy a great ride. I ripped through it in about two hours.

Ignore the blurb - it doesn't really give you a good idea of what this book is about. It's about a man who loves his daughter. It's about a man who love
Amy Bratcher
Mar 29, 2013 Amy Bratcher rated it did not like it
I normally do not take the time to comment on the books I read because others express my thoughts much more eloquently than I might do them justice. However, given my 1 star rating, I felt it necessary in this instance.

I stumbled across the intriguing synopsis for Schroder on Amazon, so I ordered it and immediately started reading upon its arrival. A week later, I was only through 1/3 of the book, which is unusual for me. I usually read books in one sitting or, at the most, 2-3 days. I found it
Jun 25, 2015 ❀Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
The cover of this book does not do it justice in my opinion. The story was mesmerizing, believable, and had well developed characters. The main character, a father and husband, is an unreliable narrator having led a deceitful life. I would almost describe the story as a subtle psychological thriller of sorts, that was at times so disturbing and suspenseful it gave me anxiety reading it. The author did a great job of getting into the head of the main character, with all of his flaws and emotions ...more
Holly Weiss
Feb 03, 2013 Holly Weiss rated it really liked it
Schroder: A Novel is both heartrending and magnificent. The book is a discerning reflection on fatherhood with contemporary issues that will appeal to men and women alike. Eric Kennedy narrates his confession to his estranged wife, explaining the circumstances of kidnapping their daughter for six days.

By falsifying an application to a New Hampshire summer camp, fourteen-year-old Schroder not only rewrites his childhood, but also changes his name to something more New England acceptable—Eric Kenn
Kelly McCoy
Feb 07, 2016 Kelly McCoy rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
A beautifully written book. As a literary junkie I completely devoured it. The main character isn’t entirely likeable but being inside his mind is utterly captivating. It shows how rational people can knowingly make bad choices, but still have a way of justifying their actions. There is a vivid display of desperation and how quickly life can spin out of control. Whether you’re sympathetic or disgusted by the character’s actions this makes an interesting read.

"Because in the end, the great warri
Dale Harcombe
three and a half stars
I’ve been thinking about this for a while before rating it and writing the review. I found this book a bit of an enigma. In the way it is written it is more like a memoir than a novel. However that is appropriate as Eric is explaining or trying to explain why he took off with his daughter Meadow. While I found the story interesting, given all the background of Eric, a first generation immigrant and his assumed identity as Eric Kennedy, I lost sympathy for him very quickly w
Diane S ☔
Feb 03, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
Although this sounds like a simple tale, a father kidnapping his eight yr. old daughter, (not a spoiler as it clearly states this in the book description0, this novel is anything but simple. When we hear on the news that a father has kidnapped one of his children, our first thought is to automatically condemn the father, feel sympathy with the mother. The main character in this book is compelling, his young daughter advanced for her age and absolutely charming. The plot unfolds in multiple layer ...more
Jan 09, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
Eric Kennedy – nee Erik Schroder – needs a life he can revise. In ways, he embodies The American Tragedy written by Dreiser over a century ago; he has come to the land of opportunity and reinvention to find a new self.

In so many ways, Erik is a product of wherever he is in time. Born in divided East Berlin, he experienced first-hand the desperation that comes from a physical division. Now, years later, he finds himself in the midst of an acrimonious custody battle for the one person he truly lov
Christina Josling
Feb 21, 2013 Christina Josling rated it it was amazing
Schroder. Ohhhhhhhh this book! It’s so so so incredible! It is a newly published book and I guarantee it will be making many appearances on Best of 2013 book lists.

Schroder is the story of a desperate man who kidnaps his daughter amid an acrimonious separation from his wife who has left him. The story is written in the first person by Eric Kennedy, in the form of a letter to his estranged wife, as he sits in jail for the kidnapping of their daughter Meadow.
This is also the
Jan 05, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing
It must be impossible to love thyself, when uncomfortable in your own skin. As a child, when life is intolerable, how many have pretended for better things? To be a better person and the bad feeling you hold for yourself, the memories, the disconnection, eventually leaves, as you no longer acknowledge the person you know. This is purely a safety mechanism to save the self. A reinvention for a better brighter future. Makes perfect sense. It wasn't his fault to delude a future of happiness and pos ...more
Mar 30, 2013 Noeleen rated it liked it
Schroder tells the story of Erik Schroder, who as a young boy, along with his father, fled East Germany when Germany was then a divided country. Upon arrival in America, at a summer camp, Eric decides to change his name and identity to the more affluent ‘Kennedy’. Subsequently, as a result of the breakdown of his marriage to his wife Laura, Eric ends up kidnapping his own daughter, Meadow. Schroder is the story of Eric’s apology from a correctional facility to his wife Laura. In this document he ...more
Bonnie Brody
Jan 02, 2013 Bonnie Brody rated it it was amazing
Who is Schroder? Is he Erik Schroder, his given name, or is he Eric Kennedy, his self-proclaimed name that he took at the age of 14? Schroder was born in East Germany when the wall was still up. A political refugee, he ended up in Dorchester, Massachusetts with his father when a boy. At fourteen his goal was to go to a camp in New Hampshire and he applied to it under the name ‘Eric Kennedy’. He won a scholarship to the camp and at that time there were so data bases, social security cards were vo ...more
Natalie Richards
Feb 23, 2015 Natalie Richards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book and will be looking out for more to read by Amity Gaige..My main feelings after reading this book is that Erik Schroder loved his wife and daughter but when the marriage broke down and his wife dictated where and when Erik could see their daughter, then his desperation started. While I don`t agree with all his decisions, the fact that he could not see his daughter brought about such grief that he could not think clearly. This is another reminder of the damage of separati ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Fiona marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
After picking this up on two separate occasions, and managing no more than ten pages each time, I can only assume that end-of-2014-Fi and this book are not suited to each other. I may come back, or I may never look at the damned thing again. It's not that I didn't like it, it's just that I didn't really care.

I also have a sinking suspicion that I went into this wanting it to be written by Lionel Shriver, which was always going to make it a bit of a disappointment. Sadly DNF-ed, then, and I may c
Sep 18, 2014 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
ai, wat een mooi boek. Schroder maakt een tocht met zijn dochter en brengt haar niet op tijd weer terug. maar het is gecompliceerder dan dat. het gaat ook over identiteit, over gekozen identiteit. over de grenzen van de realiteit. en over zijn vreemde relatie, obsessie, met stilte.
maar eigenlijk maakt het niet uit waar dit boek over gaat: het is uniek, zowel in de schrijfstijl als de gekozen vorm. en de hoofdpersoon zal bij blijven, denk ik.

boordevol sterke, mooie, heldere zinnen. aanrader!

Jan 28, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
I read this book in a day. I really enjoy Gaige's writing style and loved The Folded World so I was anxious to read Schroder. It is a beautifully written letter/admission/confession written by a father who is going through a divorce and custody battle for his daughter. But it is also about identity. As you find out in the first few pages, Erik Schroder chooses at an early age to become Eric Kennedy, and pretty much erases his past. Of course this comes up when he decides to take his daughter on ...more
Lorri Steinbacher
Mar 15, 2013 Lorri Steinbacher rated it really liked it
Excellent. What impressed me most about the book was that Gaige made Eric so real, so human. He was obviously a mess, you would certainly regret fathering a child with him, and yet--maybe not. Eric's s "confession" is simultaneously honest and dishonest, just when you find yourself having some sympathy for him--bam!--he does something utterly selfish and ridiculous that you hope he gets caught and soon. You ever really understand Eric's motivations, he hints at them, but you're never quite sure. ...more
I am giving this book three stars because the writing is quite good and the language is musical, but maybe a little noisy.

The story is just kinda okay, though. I had to push myself to continue reading and finish the book. If it had been longer by another 100 pages I would have never made it.

There are some interesting bits. I liked the examination of silence that the main character, Erik Schroder (aka Eric Kennedy), makes a dissertation of in the book. Is silence more powerful than sound? There s
Becca (Pretty Little Memoirs)
When I first began reading Schroder, it was clear that the main character, Erik, had wanted to and had erased his whole backstory and created a new life for himself under the name Erik Kennedy. Though his story was intriguing and beautifully written, someone who kidnapped their daughter would seem to be unlikeable. Still, I found myself not disliking him for those things because of sympathy. Schroder was moving and made for a page-turner, and I definitely found myself wondering why I hadn’t read ...more
Dan Fuchs
Jul 12, 2013 Dan Fuchs rated it liked it
If you're planning on reading this book, this is where I guess I'm supposed to write the words "spoiler alert," because I plan on discussing how the story plays itself out. So if you care one way or the other about knowing the resolution of this novel, stop reading my humble review now.

This story of the American Dream gone bad does hold the reader's interest, for the most part. I did find myself wanting to know what was going to happen to Meadow Kennedy and her fatuous father, Eric. I'm not sure
c. liberty
Mar 17, 2013 c. liberty rated it really liked it
Schroeder is a quirky story that takes place in Albany, NY. It's loosely based on Clark Rockefeller, the eccentric child abductor/murder/sociopathic liar. It's part confessional, travel journal, love story, overindulgent introspection, action thriller, among others. The prose is a bit too poetic at times, but on the whole, it’s worthwhile reading.

It was exciting reading a novel that takes place in my hometown. Amity Gaige describes Albany and the Capital District early on: "In order to answer th
Nicholas Gresens
Feb 16, 2013 Nicholas Gresens rated it it was ok
I heard about this book on NPR and was intrigued. The story is certainly compelling, and the main character is sympathetic, at least to an extent. He is sympathetic to the extent that we have all been, or have imagined having been, in a situation where we have been forced to perpetuate what at first seemed an entirely benign lie. What's more, we have all been in a situation where we have wished we could recreate our identity to fit a more perfect vision of whom we imagine ourselves to be. This b ...more
Feb 18, 2013 Pattie rated it really liked it
I read advance praise for this book and picked up the day it was released in my city. It did not disappoint. It is an extremely well-written account of a man's 6-day "kidnapping excursion" with his daughter. That last sentence doesn't begin to do this book justice. It is an account of love, loss, and identity and how a person can react when they feel their options are being taken away, even if they are ultimately responsible for those dwindling options. The main character, in spite of his action ...more
Feb 13, 2013 Alison rated it really liked it
Amity Gaige is an amazing, philosophical writer--she proved that a few years ago with The Folded World. Now that her protagonist is a self-absorbed, put-upon man, it seems the male literary establishment is willing to give her some credit. It's deserved and long overdue. But just for the record, there were people who noticed before the "important" people noticed. Highly recommended, a master class in character. Schroder is NOT a good guy, but you still feel really bad for him.
This book is so close to being perfect. Slow clap to standing ovation. And it truly doesn't help (or does help?) that right now I'm in mourning over the upcoming loss of my relationship with my mentor, who is publicly quirky, occasionally irritable from damage, and also -- to me -- one of the warmest father figure sorts I've ever experienced. My feels about this one run deep.
Feb 17, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Ron Charles
Shelves: audio
Enjoyable but missed the mark for me. I liked the story but it could have been so much more. A German changes his name and identity to escape his heritage and become Americanized when he's about 19 years old. He then goes on to marry and the story is really about his custody battle with his wife and his love of his young daughter. He makes mistake after mistake and ends up in a bad place. The mark is missed on many levels - ok, he changes his identity but it seems that it's just that and then he ...more
Mar 27, 2013 Margriet rated it it was amazing
I write this with tears in my eyes, I just closed the book. I read this almost in one sitting and oh my god. I was intrigued by the story, but the words made it perfect. I was too lazy to pick up my blue marker but I would have almost colored it all blue.
I have no more words.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Buzz: Unreliable narrators 2 10 Nov 02, 2013 09:06AM  
.:.Book Bodega.:.: Frightening Parenting 1 9 Jul 19, 2013 05:45AM  
Fayetteville Free...: FFL Meet the Author Skype/Book Discussion Summer 2013 2 19 Jun 11, 2013 08:12AM  
  • Half the Kingdom
  • Heaven Should Fall
  • Autobiography of Us
  • Wise Men
  • Indiscretion
  • What the Family Needed
  • The Last Summer of the Camperdowns
  • Subtle Bodies
  • Jacob's Folly
  • The Last Man Standing
  • Sparta
  • Love is a Canoe
  • Kind of Kin
  • Frances and Bernard
  • I Want to Show You More
  • The Why of Things: A Novel
  • A Nearly Perfect Copy
  • Amity & Sorrow
Amity Gaige is the author of the acclaimed novel, O My Darling, for which she was chosen by the National Book Foundation for its “5 under 35” recognition. She teaches at the University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein Providence Campus and at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
More about Amity Gaige...

Share This Book

“Be happy. Decide to be happy. If you want to be happy, be happy! No one cares if you're happy or not, so why wait for permission? And did it really matter if you had been deeply unhappy in your past? Who but you remembered that?” 8 likes
“If you want to be happy, be happy! No one cares if you’re happy or not, so why wait for permission?” 0 likes
More quotes…