This book, thematically, reminded me of "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything". Similarly, "Model Home" is about the expectations and sense of entitlemenThis book, thematically, reminded me of "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything". Similarly, "Model Home" is about the expectations and sense of entitlement that upper middle class America developed in the latter decades of the twentieth century. But "All We Ever Wanted" was set in early 2000s, when entitlement and high living standards were a common part of the mentality. "Model Home" is set in 1983, when those ideas were just taking root.
However, those idea of wealth, lifestyle and entitlement are what drives the Ziller family through this book. As they go from a McMansion in a gated community, to a model home near a toxic waste facility in Palmdale, they see their family fall apart and come together. As each member of the family discovers themselves under new circumstances, they have to decide how to handle these new people they are now living with. This was a gripping, well written book, with amazingly multilayered characters. And while it starts out with a limited world view - that of the early 1980s entitled class - it spins outward to show us a bigger picture of Southern California. As the Zillers go beyond their gated community, so we go with them to trailer parks, desert wasteland, and Grateful Dead concerts. This is a very smart, insightful novel....more