where the writers are
State of the Union Book Cover
State of the Union
$29.99
Paperback
See Book Details »

BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Mar.15.2011
  • 9781451602098

Douglas gives an overview of the book:

  America in the 1960s was an era of radical upheaval–of civil rights protests and anti-war marches; of sexual liberation and hallucinogenic drugs. More tellingly, it was a time when you weren’t supposed to trust anyone over the age of thirty; when, if you were young, you rebelled against your parents and their conservative values. But not Hannah Buchan. Hannah is a great disappointment to her famous radical father and painter mother. Instead of mounting the barricades and embracing this age of profound social change, she wants nothing more than to marry her doctor boyfriend and raise a family in a small town. Hannah gets her wish. But once installed as the doctor’s wife in a nowhere corner of Maine, boredom sets in... until an unforeseen moment of personal rebellion changes everything. Especially as Hannah is forced into breaking the law. For decades, this...
Read full overview »

 

America in the 1960s was an era of radical upheaval–of civil rights protests and anti-war marches; of sexual liberation and hallucinogenic drugs. More tellingly, it was a time when you weren’t supposed to trust anyone over the age of thirty; when, if you were young, you rebelled against your parents and their conservative values.

But not Hannah Buchan.

Hannah is a great disappointment to her famous radical father and painter mother. Instead of mounting the barricades and embracing this age of profound social change, she wants nothing more than to marry her doctor boyfriend and raise a family in a small town.

Hannah gets her wish. But once installed as the doctor’s wife in a nowhere corner of Maine, boredom sets in... until an unforeseen moment of personal rebellion changes everything. Especially as Hannah is forced into breaking the law.

For decades, this one transgression in an otherwise faultless life remains buried. But then, in the charged atmosphere of America after 9/11, her secret comes out and her life goes into freefall.

 

Read an excerpt »

 

After he was arrested, my father became famous.

It was 1966—and Dad (or John Winthrop Latham, as he was known to everyone except his only child) was the first professor at the University of Vermont to speak out against the war in Vietnam. That spring, he headed a campuswide protest that resulted in a sit-down demonstration outside the Administration Building. My dad led three hundred students as they peacefully blocked the entrance for thirty-six hours, bringing university executive business to a standstill. The police and National Guard were finally called. The protestors refused to move, and Dad was shown on national television being hauled off to jail.

It was big news at the time. Dad had instigated one of the first major exercises in student civil disobedience against the war, and the image of this lone, venerable Yankee in a tweed jacket and a button-down Oxford blue shirt being lifted off the ground by a couple of Vermont state troopers made it onto newscasts around the country.

“Your dad’s so cool!” everybody told me at high school the morning after his arrest. Two years later, when I started my freshman year at the University of Vermont, even mentioning that I was Professor Latham’s daughter provoked the same response.

“Your dad’s so cool!” And I’d nod and smile tightly, and say, “Yeah, he’s the best.”

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my father. Always have, always will. But when you’re eighteen—as I was in ’69—and you’re desperately trying to establish just the smallest sort of identity for yourself, and your dad has turned into the Tom Paine of both your home town and your college, you can easily find yourself dwarfed by his lanky, virtuous shadow.

I could have escaped his high moral profile by transferring to another school. Instead, in the middle of my sophomore year, I did the next best thing: I fell in love.

Dan Buchan was nothing like my father. Whereas Dad had the heavy-duty Waspy credentials—Choate, Princeton, then Harvard for his doctorate—Dan was from a nowhere town in upstate New York called Glens Falls. His father was a maintenance man in the local school system, his late mother had run a little manicure shop in town, and Dan was the first member of his family to go to college at all, let alone medical school.

He was also one shy guy. He never dominated a conversation, never imposed himself on a situation. But he was a great listener—always far more interested in what you had to say. I liked this. And I found his gentle reticence to be curiously attractive. He was serious—and unlike everyone else I met at college back then, he knew exactly where he was going. On our second date he told me over a beer or two that he really didn’t want to get into some big ambitious field like neurosurgery. And there was no way that he was going to “pull a major cop-out” and choose a big-bucks specialty like dermatology. No, he had his sights set on family medicine.

“I want to be a small country doctor, nothing more,” he said.

 

douglas-kennedy's picture

Note from the author coming soon...

About Douglas

Douglas Kennedy is an internationally renowned and bestselling novelist. His 10 novels have been translated in 22 countries. His newest novel, Temptation, was published in paperback by Atria (a...

Read full bio »

Published Reviews

Apr.30.2012

Douglas Kennedy's tenth novel, The Moment, finds the bestselling author flexing his muscles and playing to all his strengths.

Kennedy, like William Boyd and Paul Watkins, has always managed...