Tony and Susan
Grand Central, Aug 11 2011, $24.99
English teacher Susan Morrow has been married to Arthur a surgeon. He and her second husband have been together for years raising kids in suburbia. It has been over two decades since Susan has communicated with her first spouse Edward Sheffield, but he has sent her a manuscript Nocturnal Animals asking her to read it and tell him what she thinks.
Not interested until she learns her ex is coming to visit her to see what she thinks; Susan begins reading the story of math professor Tony Hastings, his wife Laura and their child Helen. At first she hates the family in terror plot as she expects an unhappy ending, but soon cannot put the novel down as she flashes from the book to her life with Edward and Arthur.
Using the story inside a story mechanism, Austin Wright provides an insightful profound look at two “families” and the writer who connects them. The story line focuses on accountability as people reject any responsibility for their actions even blatant abuse. Both “novels” are entertainingly discerning as the veneer of civilization conceals the reality of irresponsible, unethical and often violent behavior.