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Short Synopsis
This debut novel by award-winning writer Eric Puchner is a bitterly funny, deeply moving story about a family reckoning with failure, guilt, and love.

Full Synopsis
Warren Ziller moved his family to California in search of a charmed life, and to all appearances, he found it: a gated community not far from the beach, amid the affluent splendor of Southern California in the 1980s. But his American dream has been rudely interrupted. Despite their affection for one another—the "slow, jokey, unrehearsed vaudeville" they share at home—Warren; his wife, Camille; and their three children have veered into separate lives, as distant as satellites. Worst of all, Warren has squandered the family's money on a failing real estate venture.

As Warren desperately tries to conceal his mistake, his family begins to sow deceptions of their own. Camille attributes Warren's erratic behavior to an affair and plots her secret revenge; seventeen-year-old Dustin falls for his girlfriend's troubled younger sister; teen misanthrope Lyle begins sleeping with a security guard who works at the gatehouse; and eleven-year-old Jonas becomes strangely obsessed with a kidnapped girl.

When tragedy strikes, the Zillers are forced to move into one of the houses in Warren's abandoned development in the middle of the desert. Marooned in a less-than-model home, each must reckon with what's led them there and who's to blame—and whether they can summon the forgiveness needed to hold the family together. Subtly ambitious, brimming with the humor and unpredictability of life, Model Home delivers penetrating insights into the American family and into the imperfect ways we try to connect, from a writer "uncannily in tune with the heartbreak and absurdity of domestic life" (Los Angeles Times).

"Heartrending.... With careful attention to nuanced and fractured perspectives, Puchner teases a fragile beauty out of the loneliness that separates the members of this family." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Eric Puchner's Model Home is 1980s California in a nutshell: bright and frantic, giddy and broke, desperate and strong and always, always moving." ---Daniel Handler, author of the national bestseller Adverbs

"Colacci...is attentive to the story's brutality, its pathos, and its stinging comedy." ---Publishers Weekly Audio Review

"An exceptionally well plotted, caustically funny, and bracingly compassionate novel of family lunacy and love." ---Booklist Starred Review

"This fine domestic drama...runs the gamut from hilarious to harrowing.... A wild first novel that amply confirms the promise of Puchner's story collection, Music Through the Floor." ---Kirkus Starred Review

"Puchner is an extraordinarily talented writer. He's a master of mood and tone, able to make moments of pure hilarity follow heartbreak with the seamlessness of real life." ---The Boston Globe

"Puchner's best touches are more mysterious and subtle. He deploys in exactly the right measure the element of dreams: those he visits upon his characters and the one he implodes before the reader's gaze." ---San Francisco Chronicle

"Puchner's prose in these pages is forthright, delightfully detailed, with the distance he strikes from his characters just right." ---Chicago Tribune

"Puchner is a tender, humane observer of family life, and his lithe prose deepens our understanding of his characters." ---The New York Times

"Rejoice! Eric Puchner has given us a brilliant, unpretentious family saga of uncommon mastery and soul." ---Elisa Albert, author of The Book of Dahlia

"A searing, bitterly funny, achingly humane book by one of our most talented young writers." ---Ann Packer, author of the national bestseller Songs Without Words
Publishers Weekly Review

Booklist Review

Kirkus Review

Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Model Home

A Novel

Author Eric Puchner

Narrated by David Colacci

Publication date Apr 12, 2010

Running time 15 hrs

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