BESTSELLING AND AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR: Ali Benjamin is the author of The Thing About Jellyfish, which was an international bestseller, a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, and was optioned for a film in development with Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard.
THE DEBUT ADULT NOVEL by the bestselling YA author.
TIMELY SUBJECT: Polarizing social and political stresses on an ordinary family: an activist women’s group outraged about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a distracted wife, a hyperactive daughter, a husband left out—and what is that millennial babysitter really doing there?
BOOK CLUB THEMES: Themes of family, love, identity, marriage, and sexual and financial challenges in an age of political unrest, social reset, male confusion, and feminist empowerment.
SPELLBINDING STORY, WRITING, AND VOICE: The smash-up of values today, captured with humor, insight, elegance, and a sense of the absurd.
“An exhilarating ride…hilarious…there are no heroes here; I got whiplash trying to figure out who I trusted and what I was rooting for, and the sensation was mesmerizing. Benjamin is like an overly chatty but skilled magician…a modern and energetic story about a marriage on the skids.”—The New York Times
“Borrow names and plot elements from Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome. Satirize progressive parenting and education à la Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Then light it all up with the feminist fire ignited by the Brett Kavanaugh hearings—and what do you get? A fun, timely novel that’s unexpectedly full of hope.”—People
“It is not the transposition of that well-trod narrative and its character types that compels; it is the contrast sharpened in the act…. Benjamin doesn’t remake Ethan Frome so much as she contends with it. The Smash-Up is an homage and a critique…. An astute commentary on the differences between Wharton’s time and ours.”—Los Angeles Times
“The story’s day-by-day format builds a brisk page-turning momentum…. Benjamin has a keen eye and ear for the revealing cultural detail, whether it’s billionaire couples critiquing their children’s school reading lists at parents’ night or someone in their 20s working some questionable side hustles in the gig economy. It’s as if she Marie Kondo’d her scenes to keep only the elements that would bring readers some joy.”—WBUR, The ARTery
“Just when you think you know where this narrative is going, Benjamin flips the script expertly…. In her fantastic adult debut, YA and middle grade author Benjamin (The Next Great Paulie Fink) skewers her subjects but still preserves their humanity. New York expats, middle-aged Gen-Xers, disaffected millennials, conniving school moms, exasperating children with improbable names—all get the gimlet eye in this timely, witty novel.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Ambitious…With satire and suspense, Benjamin handily encapsulates the incomprehension, sadness, and rage of the Trump era.”—Publishers Weekly
“A hypertopical, semisatirical, Ethan Frome–inspired portrait of a family on the edge…cleverly constructed…pack(s) an emotional punch.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Funny, withering, and devastating…Punching neither up nor down but to the side, Benjamin (The Thing About Jellyfish) takes aim at a contemporary attitude that would have flummoxed Edith Wharton. As one of Benjamin’s characters puts it, ‛When did we all fall so in love with our own opinions?’ ”—Shelf Awareness
“A contemporary reflection on power and sex…Benjamin’s immediately engaging writing captures the complicated emotions and biting humor of these bruising times and their impact on relationships.”—Booklist
An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.