A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR This “deeply immersive novel” (The Washington Post) from the author of the award–winning Preparation for the Next Life is an “epic coming-of-age tale filled with pain, heartache, fear, and undying love” (The Associated Press), as a young man’s yearning to protect his dying mother requires him to risk destroying his estranged, enigmatic, powerful father.
“From its hypnotic opening pages, we find ourselves in the sure hands of a roaming omniscient narrator, one who knows intimately the beating hearts of its two central characters” —Andre Dubus III, The New York Times Book Review
Corey Goltz grows up in the working-class outskirts of Boston as the only child of Gloria, whose ambitions were derailed early but who has always given her son everything she can. Corey, restless, dreams of leaving home for a great adventure.
Instead, when he is fifteen, the world comes crashing down upon him, when Gloria is diagnosed with ALS and, too late, his estranged father, Leonard—a man of great charisma but dubious moral character—reenters the picture. Determined to be his mother’s hero at any cost, Corey begins shouldering responsibility for her expensive medical care, pushing himself to his physical and emotional limits as her disease cruelly progresses. And as Leonard’s influence over Corey grows, Corey must dismantle the myth of his father’s genius and confront the evil that lurks beneath it.
Gritty, visceral, and profoundly stirring, The War for Gloria tells the story of a young man, straddling childhood and adulthood, whose yearning to protect his mother requires him to risk destroying his father. An indelible work from a strikingly original voice in American fiction.