Author: Lee Montgomery
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.