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In Between Days
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2012
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Description
"Andrew Porter is a born storyteller . . . He makes his own space instantly and invites you in. Hats off!" —Barry Hannah

From a commanding new voice in fiction comes a novel as perceptive as it is generous: a portrait of an American family trying to cope in our world today, a story of choices and doubts and transgressions.
The Hardings are teetering on the brink. Elson—once one of Houston's most promising architects, who never quite lived up to expectations—is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother's minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can't explain to either her parents or her older brother, the Hardings' lives start to unravel. Chloe returns to Houston, but the dangers set in motion back at school prove inescapable. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the wisdom of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of coming home.
This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/04/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307961075
ASIN:
B007MGS0J8
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Andrew Porter. (2012). In Between Days. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Andrew Porter. 2012. In Between Days. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Andrew Porter, In Between Days. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Andrew Porter. In Between Days. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Andrew Porter is the author of the story collection The Theory of Light and Matter. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he has received a Pushcart Prize, a James Michener/Copernicus Fellowship, and the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. His work has appeared in One Story, The Threepenny Review, and on public radio's Selected Shorts. Currently, he teaches fiction writing and directs the creative writing program at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

      • name: Andrew Porter
imprint
Vintage
publishDate
2012-09-04T00:00:00-04:00
isOwnedByCollections
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title
In Between Days
fullDescription
"Andrew Porter is a born storyteller . . . He makes his own space instantly and invites you in. Hats off!" —Barry Hannah

From a commanding new voice in fiction comes a novel as perceptive as it is generous: a portrait of an American family trying to cope in our world today, a story of choices and doubts and transgressions.
The Hardings are teetering on the brink. Elson—once one of Houston's most promising architects, who never quite lived up to expectations—is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother's minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can't explain to either her parents or her older brother, the Hardings' lives start to unravel. Chloe returns to Houston, but the dangers set in motion back at school prove inescapable. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the wisdom of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of coming home.
This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief
      • content:

        "In Between Days is a tightly wound novel of suspense, wrapped in the emotional trials of a family teetering on the edge of disaster. Andrew Porter has given us a fresh, modern, literary page-turner, exposing in turn the inner lives of father, mother, brother, and sister. Grown-ups go around behaving like children, while adult children refuse to grow up, until ultimately everyone is shaken from their sheltered lives and into a whole new world."

      • premium: False
      • source: San Antonio Express-News
      • content: "Porter writes with intuitiveness about the complexities of family life and creates indelible characters . . . What makes In Between Days so compelling is the characters. Each is holding something back from the others, carrying a secret, telling only half the truth most of the time. By withholding vital information, Porter is able to develop a sense of unease as thick as Houston smog."
      • premium: False
      • source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
      • content: "[Gives] a real and moving sense of how families are composed of so many moments mutually and individually and collectively experienced . . . The author manages to make us care, to help us see how every move and each decision, however seemingly important or inconsequential, ravels and unravels a family's life, as the fabric nonetheless somehow holds together . . . Eloquent."
      • premium: False
      • source: Texas Observer
      • content: "In Between Days confirms that Andrew Porter has arrived . . . A Jamesian examination of character that dances a quadrille with the points of view of the four Hardings, the novel sustains the taut suspense of crime fiction . . . The prose and pacing are nearly flawless."
      • premium: False
      • source: Dallas Morning News
      • content: "This is Andrew Porter's first novel and, as a portrait of a modern American nuclear family, it is a deft one. He weaves in the full tapestry of contemporary life and its complications: male menopause, desperate housewives, extended adolescence, and race relations in post-9/11 America."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "Porter's debut novel grabs the reader and does not let go until the last line . . . The plot moves backward and forward in time, artfully revealing key details and maintaining a mesmerizing level of suspense . . . An examination of the development of identity as seen through the lens of the disintegration of family; highly recommended."
      • premium: False
      • source: Houston magazine
      • content: "A stirring page-turner, part Chekhov and part Hitchcock."
      • premium: False
      • source: Real Simple
      • content: "I was shaken by this cautionary tale of what can happen when a family's secrets become larger than the love they share."
      • premium: False
      • source: Baton Rouge Advocate
      • content: "In Between Days is as complex and sensitive in psychology as it is credible and compelling in narrative . . . [Porter] masterfully creates the context in which this quartet of characters display not just their vulnerabilities but their desperate comprehension."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "The story is told with great emotional and psychological insight. All of the four Hardings get to tell their pieces of the story in their distinct voices, creating a multilayered and suspenseful tale of love in all its varieties and family defined in different ways."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Antonio magazine
      • content: "A striking assemblage of generational disintegration and distress that will remind some readers of [the] Ingmar Bergman--inspired Woody Allen art house flick Interiors by way of Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides . . . Porter has effortlessly and enviably, it seems, made the tough transition from best-kept literary secret to bestseller material."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "Porter's absorbing debut novel chronicles the slow-motion fracture of an upper-middle-class Houston clan . . . The prose is smooth--practically frictionless, thanks to Porter's realistic yet meaningful dialogue and his plainspoken, nonjudgmental descriptions . . . Porter wants to explore why we take such firm hold of some parts of our emotional lives but willfully neglect others, and his surprise ending suggests why it's worth breaking free of others' definitions of emotional attainment."
      • premium: False
      • source: Largehearted Boy blog
      • content: "An exquisitely told dysfunctional family drama . . . One of the year's stellar debut novels."
      • premium: False
      • source: Marilynne Robinson
      • content: "Andrew Porter's fiction is thoughtful, lucid, and highly controlled . . . He has the kind of voice one can accept as universal--honest and grave, with transparency as its adornment
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 18, 2012
        Crises approach from all sides for the Harding family in Porter’s (The Theory of Light and Matter) debut novel set in contemporary Houston, Tex. Architect father Elson, bitterly divorced from Cadence, struggles to stay connected to his much younger Filipina girlfriend, Lorna, while his children become unmoored. Son Richard, a gifted poet recently graduated from college, is living at home with his mother, tumbling into drugs and self-loathing as he figures out what to do with his life. Tipping the fragile family balance into chaos is the sudden return of daughter Chloe, who has taken an involuntary leave of absence from college after a potentially criminal connection to an incident involving her mysterious boyfriend Raja. Chloe’s abrupt disappearance soon after her arrival disrupts everyone as it soon becomes clear that Chloe will do anything for love. The improbable plot progresses through the perspective of each major family member with backward glimpses into the origins of the family’s current troubles and gestures to a potential future, but with the exception of Elson, the characters and their relationships are rarely convincing. And when a central conflict revolves around whether 20-something Richard will get an M.F.A. in poetry, any tension easily dissipates. The prose, while extremely competent, is excessive, with long passages of unnecessary dialogue, unnecessary exposition, and unconvincing interior monologues. An ambitious but ultimately disappointing look at a dysfunctional modern family. Agent: Terra Chalberg, Susan Golomb Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 15, 2012
        A busted marriage, gay prostitution, a potential murder charge--what's a nice Texas family doing in a state like this? Porter's absorbing debut novel chronicles the slow-motion fracture of an upper-middle-class Houston clan. Elson, a well-regarded architect, has recently split from his wife, Cadence, and both are clumsily pursuing new relationships. Their son, Richard, is a promising young gay poet who's uncertain about how much he wants to commit to his art. But the real problem is their daughter, Chloe, who's been suspended from college under obscure circumstances. As Porter (The Theory of Light and Matter, 2008) cycles through each family member's inner life, their turmoil becomes more pronounced, and it becomes clear just what a heap of trouble Chloe is in: Her boyfriend, Raja, was involved in the violent beating of a fellow student who was bullying him, and Chloe's efforts to protect Raja have attracted police attention. The prose is smooth--practically frictionless, thanks to Porter's realistic yet meaningful dialogue and his plainspoken, nonjudgmental descriptions. (Porter operates in a practically metaphor-free universe.) Such simplicity can be to the book's detriment--the emotional conflicts, particularly between Elson and Cadence, sometimes feel undramatic and shopworn. Porter is on much firmer footing with Chloe and Richard: Every chapter in which they appear is more tense, defined by the clattering of existential questions they ponder. Porter wants to explore why we take such firm hold of some parts of our emotional lives but willfully neglect others, and his surprise ending suggests why it's worth breaking free of others' definitions of emotional attainment. The plot strains credulity in its later chapters, as Chloe disappears, and Richard is willing to do anything to help, but Porter's cool tone helps sell the story. A conventional dysfunctional-family tale that gets over on the author's firm command of language and his characters' neuroses.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        July 1, 2012

        Porter's debut novel grabs the reader and does not let go until the last line. Houston is the setting and Chloe the focus. Chloe has been asked to leave her East Coast college owing to her tangential involvement in a violent incident for which her boyfriend Raja stands accused. Meanwhile, Chloe's father, Elson, and his wife, Cadence, grapple with their recent divorce and the fallout from their daughter's misadventures and sudden return home. Balancing Chloe's perspective is that of her brother, Brandon, a poet, who wrestles with protecting his sister and being true to himself. The plot moves backward and forward in time, artfully revealing key details and maintaining a mesmerizing level of suspense. As Chloe and her boyfriend flee justice, their fate seems very dire indeed. Crisis momentarily reunites the fractured family, but things fall apart and each member wheels off in a separate direction, some to better worlds and some to worse. VERDICT An examination of the development of identity as seen through the lens of the disintegration of family; highly recommended.--Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2012
        Elson Harding's architecture career has stalled; his wife, Cadence, has divorced him; and he's drinking a bit too much. Their son, Richard, is still living at home, driving his mom's minivan and not speaking to his father because of his reaction to Richard's announcement that he is gay. But it is when daughter Chloe is kicked out of her eastern college under mysterious circumstances and returns to Houston that things really get interesting. Chloe refuses to explain what happened and, when her boyfriend, Raj, jumps bail and joins her, they disappear, with Richard's help. Elson and Cadence come together briefly in their grief, but the damage is done. And poor, guilty Richard must finally find his own life. The story is told with great emotional and psychological insight. All of the four Hardings get to tell their pieces of the story in their distinct voices, creating a multilayered and suspenseful tale of love in all its varieties and family defined in different ways.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

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An exceptionally engaging first novel from a commanding new voice in fiction, author of the award-winning and widely acclaimed story collection The Theory of Light and Matter.

The Harding family is teetering on the brink. Elson--once one of Houston's most promising architects--is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother's minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can't explain to either her parents or her older brother, and returns to Houston, the Hardings' lives begin to unravel. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the deftness of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of going home.

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