Lee Montgomery is the author of The Things Between Us, a memoir, Whose World Is This?, and Searching for Emily, an illustrated novella. The Things Between Us received an Oregon Book Award in creative nonfiction and Whose World Is This? received the Iowa Short Fiction Award. Her fiction and nonfiction work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times magazine, Glimmer Train, Tin House, Story magazine, the Iowa Review, and the Antioch Review, among others.
In the mid-’70s, a time of great social upheaval in the United States and the world, a group of men from a small New England coastal town disappear on a sailboat en route to Bermuda. A year later, the families of the missing crew gather on Easter Sunday for a memorial. For Lulu, the protagonist whose father owned the boat, it is a moment that highlights her grief but also her coming of age. Lulu has been alone with her mother for almost a year and becomes fixated on Sam, her older brother, the moment he returns home from a year of fighting in Vietnam. But she soon discovers Sam seems to have a loosening hold on reality. As the guests arrive, Lulu is taking coats and must contend with a friend of her brother’s, who tries to seduce her before dinner and even at the table. A tragicomedy of manners, New Englanders takes place over a period of one afternoon around the preparations for and during a formal dinner and gives a glimpse of a young woman’s grief gone awry in a vanishing world.