Lori L (She Treads Softly) 's Reviews > Model Home

Model Home by Eric Puchner
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's review
Sep 06, 2011

really liked it
Read in September, 2011

Model Home is Eric Puchner's debut novel about a family dealing with failure. A failed real estate venture sends Warren Ziller's family into an economic down turn, but, truthfully, the family was already disjointed and spiraling out of control and away from any connection with each other before their American dream became a nightmare. Model Home opens in the summer of 1985, right after Warren's car has been repossessed, but before his family knows the truth about he family's financial condition.

Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character, mainly Ziller family members. This includes Warren, Camille (his wife), Lyle (daughter), Dustin and Jonas (sons). Even while their illusions of happiness slip away from them, the reader will realize that the Zillers were never happy to begin with. The novel is alternately depressing, and heartbreaking. There are funny moments, but they are few and far between. And the depressing addition of the diminished capacity of the family's dog was more than I could take

Puchner is certainly a talented writer whose ability elevated this tale about a dysfunctional family above the norm, however, in the end I didn't feel like Model Home broke any new ground. The characters felt stereotypical, flat, and emotionally stunted. The good news is that this was a debut novel, which makes Puchner a writer to watch.

highly recommended for the writing, but be forewarned that it is a depressing story; http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/

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