Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Children

The Children

A Novel

Ann Leary




Trade Paperback

Charlotte Maynard rarely leaves her mother’s home, the once-grand Lakeside Cottage that belonged to her late stepfather, Whit Whitman, and generations of Whitmans before him. While Charlotte and her sister, Sally, grew up at Lakeside, their stepbrothers, Spin and Perry, were welcomed as weekend guests. Now the grown boys own the Connecticut house, which their mother occupies by their grace—and a provision in the family trust.

When Spin, the youngest and favorite of the children, brings his fiancée home for the summer, the entire family is intrigued. But as the wedding draws near and flaws surface in the family’s polite veneer, an array of simmering resentments and unfortunate truths is exposed and the blended family are forced to grapple with the assets and liabilities—both material and psychological—left behind by their wonderfully flawed patriarch.




One August morning in 1956, Whit Whitman sat down to a breakfast of soft-boiled eggs and toast with his grandmother Trudy. They dined outdoors on the wide front porch of Lakeside Cottage. Whit’s...


Praise for The Children

"A profound meditation on the burden of expectation, familial ties that bind, and the explosive nature of buried secrets." —Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train

"[A] deeply satisfying novel about how unknowable people can be." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The Children is populated by comically quirky characters reminiscent of Anne Tyler at her best." —Ann Hood, author of The Obituary Writer

"I loved this crumbling lakeside home, the family cracked at its foundation, and the strange intruders chipping away at everyone's peace of mind. Ann Leary's compelling tale is satisfyingly layered with unreliable witnesses and betrayals large and small; in which the worst harm may not be caused by an unknown stranger." —Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

"[Leary's] characters are a delightful blend of strong personalities, all with their own little touch of delicious evil, and her darkly comic send-ups of New England wealth, nouveau riche, and Internet culture should keep readers absorbed until the final, most shocking secrets are revealed." —Publishers Weekly

"A witty, touching, unputdownable novel." —Good Housekeeping

"A fast-paced, darkly funny novel." —Popsugar

"A read-in-one-sitting romp, Leary’s wry and searing satire of affluence and elitism comically yet steadily builds to a sobering and malevolent finale." —Booklist

"No one does the unreliable female narrator like Ann Leary. . . . A cautionary fairy tale about what happens when you think you’re irrelevantly above it all." —Lit Hub

"Leary has a gift for creating compelling, layered characters, and the structure and pacing of this novel are remarkable." —Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram

"Ann Leary’s latest novel, The Children, delivers the same page-turning story telling and complexity of characters as her last book, The Good House. . . . As always, Leary makes dysfunction, pathology and even tragedy completely compelling." —The Huffington Post

"Great fun." —People

"As in The Good House, the details in Leary’s characters are bright." —The New York Times Book Review

"Leary commands every scene with the poise of a practiced storyteller who has mastered the timing required to craft narrative tension, punctuated throughout by precise and intentional reveals." —Ploughshares

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Ann Leary

ANN LEARY is the New York Times bestselling author of The Good House, and two previous books, An Innocent, A Broad and Outtakes from a Marriage. She has written short fiction and essays for the New York Times, Ploughshares, and NPR’s You Must Read This, among various others. Ms. Leary lives with her family in northwestern Connecticut.

Ann Leary

Cathrine White

From the Publisher


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