Fourteen stories that examine‚ with the unflinching candor and sympathy for which Joyce Carol Oates has been celebrated‚ the intimate lives of contemporary American families: the tangled ties between generations‚ the desperation--and the covert‚ radiant happiness--of loving more than one is loved in return.
In "Cutty Sark" and "Landfill" the bond between adolescent son and mother reverberates with the force of an unspoken passion‚ bringing unexpected consequences for the sons.
In "A Princeton Idyll" a woman is forced to realize‚ decades later‚ her childhood role in the destruction of a famous‚ beloved grandfather's life.
"The Blind Man's Sighted Daughters"-- two middle-aged sisters whose lives have evolved in radically different ways--are made to acknowledge their father's violent past‚ with which they have been silently complicit.
In "Magda Maria" a man tries to break free of the enthralling and dangerous erotic obsession of his life.
In the gripping title story Oates boldly reimagines the true-crime story of Andrea Yates‚ the Texas mother who drowned her several children in 2001.
Several stories--"Suicide by Fitness Center‚" "The Glazers‚" and "Dear Joyce Carol‚"--take a less tragic turn‚ exploring with mordant humor the shadowy interstices between self-awareness and delusion.
Dramatic‚ intensely rendered‚ and always provocative‚ Dear Husband‚ provides an unsettling and fascinating look into the mysterious heart of America.