Blending bittersweet humor and defiant originality, this stunning debut about a woman rediscovering herself after a divorce explores the heartbreaking and sometimes funny aspects of the mess called love.
The novel opens like this: ”I knew I could stay in this town when I found the blue enamel pot floating in the lake. The pot led me to the house, the house led me to the book, the book to the lawyer, the lawyer to the whorehouse, the whorehouse to science, and from science I joined the world.”
Barb Barrett has inadequate skills for relationships. In particular, she cannot follow her husband’s instructions. Because of this character ”flaw,” she falls through the safety net of her lousy marriage, losing custody of her children and her home as she plummets. Guided only by her intense inner life, and a questionable business plan, Barb is determined to reinvent herself. She moves into a house once occupied by the literary genius Vladimir Nabokov, author of the notorious Lolita. She discovers what could be Nabokov’s last unpublished manuscript and from there begins a painful yet joyous journey that is deliciously romantic, both darkly comic and wise.
Introducing a dazzling new voice in fiction, Cleaning Nabokov’s House will enchant fiction lovers with an accessible and engaging voice they will come to cherish.
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