Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Purple America

Posted on

Purple America

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Rick Moody
publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
genre:
Fiction

We gave it an A-

Purple America by Rick Moody is a book about love — love in as many permutations as can be encompassed in one day in the life of one family. That family is the Raitliffes: mother Billie, in the last throes of a motor-neuron disease; her second husband, Lou; the spectre of Billie’s first husband, Allen, long deceased; and their son, Dexter, a fortysomething stuttering alcoholic with a fixation on a high school sweetheart and inability to take responsibility for his life. When Lou decides to leave Billie, she summons Dexter to her bedside and asks him to end her suffering; from there the carefully constructed facades of their lives begin to crumble. What holds this novel together and combats its claustrophobia, sometimes-monstrous characters, and countless, paragraph-long sentences is the palpable affection evident in these pages. It’s hard not to be seduced. A-

Comments