We gave it a B
Cramming every theme of the domestic-realist novel into one week in the life of one family, O’Nan imagines the middle-class Maxwells convening for One Last Get-Together at the Old Summer House. The patriarch is dead; his widow is still numb; their son and daughter are each entering midlife crises as they drag their own kids — the girls becoming women, the boys being boys — out to the country. The clan has barbecues. They go motorboating. They say I-won’t-say-I-told-you-so. O’Nan’s knack for crafting psychologically acute lines makes the novel move. His anti-talent for plotting makes it move slowly. The book is less a story than a still life.