You know me– I love reading debut novels. Naturally, when I was approached to read Linda Joffe Hull’s debut novel, The Big Bang, I didn’t hesitate. If you like well-written neighborhood intrigue, this book could be for you.
I grew up in suburbia. I’m well-versed in the seemingly Machiavellian subplots that wind themselves through idyllic-looking streets and well-manicured lawns. I’ve seen my share of “coveting thy neighbor” go wrong. And I have to say, The Big Bang recreates that world in perfect detail.
Coveting is the name of the game. The characters in the novel struggle against what they have– which looks like everything and feels like nothing. At the same time, they all want something else with sometimes stunning desperation. “Be careful what you wish for” works particularly well here.
I very much enjoyed the juxtaposition of the community rules and regulations (Arcadia, anyone?) governing the perfect place to live and the behavior of the residents who strive for perfection in the most destructive ways possible. Is it any wonder it all goes to hell in spectacular fashion?
I don’t want to give the story details away, but I will leave you with this one warning: if you live in suburbia, stay away from the brownies.