The Smash-Up : A Novel by Ali Benjamin


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This not an escape. This is now, or really, this is the pre-Pandemic now, the now that has stretched across decades (and centuries, to be fair) and continues to rear its ugly head to more and less attention. Situated in a framed narrative, like ETHAN FROME (also, not coincidentally, the character’s name), this is for people who loved the dissection of small towns, insular communities, and big social issues in LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE.

– Miranda <3


A family is upended when their small-town life becomes the latest battlefield in the culture wars in this of-the-moment novel for readers of Meg Wolitzer and Fleishman Is in Trouble

Life for Ethan and Zo used to be simple. Ethan co-founded a lucrative media start-up, and Zo was well on her way to becoming a successful filmmaker. Then they moved to a rural community for a little more tranquility—or so they thought.

When newfound political activism transforms Zo into a barely recognizable ball of outrage and #MeToo allegations rock his old firm, Ethan finds himself a misfit in his own life. Enter a houseguest who is young, fun, and not at all concerned with the real world, and Ethan is abruptly forced to question everything: his past, his future, his marriage, and what he values most.

Startling, witty, thought-provoking, and wise, Ali Benjamin’s exciting debut novel offers the shock of recognition as it deftly illuminates some of the biggest issues of our time. Taking inspiration from a classic Edith Wharton tale about a small-town love triangle, The Smash-Up is a wholly contemporary exploration of how the things we fail to see can fracture a life, a family, a community, and a nation.

The Smash-Up : A Novel by Ali Benjamin
Epilogue BCB