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Schroder [Kindle Edition]

Amity Gaige
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Attending a New England summer camp as an adolescent, young Erik Schroder - a first generation East German immigrant - adopts a new name and a new persona - Eric Kennedy - in the hopes that it will help him fit in. This fateful white lie will set him on an improbable and ultimately tragic course.

Schroder relates the story of Eric's urgent escape years later through the New England countryside with his six-year-old daughter, Meadow, in an attempt to outrun the authorities amidst a heated custody battle with his wife, who will soon discover that her husband is not who he says he is. From a correctional facility, Eric surveys the course of his life in order to understand - and maybe even explain - his behaviour; the painful separation from his mother in childhood; a harrowing escape to America with his taciturn father; a romance that withered under a shadow of lies; and his proudest moments and greatest regrets as a flawed but loving father.

Product Description


'In Schroder, Amity Gaige explores the rich, murky realm where parental devotion edges into mania, and logic crabwalks into crime. This offbeat, exquisitely written novel showcases a fresh, forceful young voice in American letters.' --Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

'The measure of Gaige's great gifts as a storyteller is that she persuades you to believe in a situation that shouldn't be believable, and to love a narrator who shouldn't be lovable. Seldom has such a daring concept for a novel been grounded in such an appealing character.' --Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom and The Corrections

'You will not want to put this book down. You will want to read it in one big gulp. This is a bullet of a novel, aimed at our pieties about parenthood and familial love. You won't soon forget Schroder or his daughter or the sentences that bring them to life. To those who know Gaige's first two novels, it's no surprise she s produced another stunner. To those who don't, you're in for a treat.' -- --Adam Haslett, author of the novel Union Atlantic

Book Description

A lyrical and deeply affecting novel recounting the seven days a father spends on the road with his daughter after kidnapping her during a parental visit.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 494 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1455512133
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction (26 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #118,931 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love good writing, read this book 5 Mar. 2013
From the moment I picked up this book I knew I was delving into something special. Amity Gaige has a gift with words and with characterisation. How do you make someone who is so irresponsible sympathetic? But that is exactly what Eric Kennedy aka Erik Schroder is. A complex character who loves his daughter so much he risks everything to go on a 'road trip' with her. When we meet him, he is in custody writing an explanation to his former wife in an attempt to put a rational explanation to his reckless action. The document, which he hopes will ease his punishment, becomes an account of his missing days with his daughter and (counter intuitively) they are days that every child should have. We witness the love and quirkiness of their relationship where adult is childlike and the child is more adult. I wanted to slap him every time he did something selfish and crazy and cheer him on every time he did something wonderful. Eric is the reason why his daughter is such a confident original. Old before her time but forgiving in the way only a child can be. Amity Gaige has brought us an amazing tale of love gone wrong. I so want Eric to triumph although I'll never know. But no matter what happens to him, the triumph is Amity's.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER
The fashion these days for multi-stranded stories and complex narratives makes this intentionally one-sided and comparatively straightforward novel come across as something quite extraordinary. As indeed it is. Likewise, the trend for novels with big dark secrets buried in the past works slightly differently here; Schroder reveals from the outset what he has been hiding for years.

"It turns out I'm not very good at being silent. There are castles of things I want to tell you." Amity Gaige had me at "castles" and she never loosened her grip once.

Schroder is writing an account of the events that have led him into custody awaiting trial. The account is an explanation to his estranged wife of why he absconded for seven days with their 6-year old daughter, the fiercely intelligent Meadow. This account might also be used in mitigation so just how reliable a narrator this makes him is clearly open to question. In fact, everything about Schroder is open to question - most especially, his identity.

The author's occasional use of footnotes is deft, the narrative structure of the book is perfect and Ms Gaige has a masterful turn-of-phrase: "I was thirty-four - not an old man, but old enough to spy the burnt edges on the scroll of my life." Her description of rain which "grows hard and bitter, as if it is not rain but liquid redistribution of collective conflict". And in a hospital where "the squeegee of officious shoes awakened me". Can't you just hear them?

By the masterstroke of leaving the wife's side of the story untold, Amity Gaige has delivered a wholly brilliant read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK summer read 1 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this over the summer and didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I didn't find the characters all that convincing, and I felt less and less inclined to follow the main character through his (bad) choices, as the narrative progressed. Wasn't sure in the end what the writer intended; who was I meant to connect with, if anyone?
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In order to like this book, you probably have to have some sympathy with Schroder, the man who abducts his child, and I had none. I think the author intends him to be in some way appealing, but she did not succeed in making me feel anything for him except annoyance. Amity Gaige did not convince me of his affection for the child whose life he endangered and did not paint a believable portrait of a man with mental health issues. I'm unclear about her intentions; the book does highlight the vulnerability of children at the hands of adults, but I didn't find that her use of Schroder's viewpoint opened up any new understandings.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel of a novel 12 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reading Mags' review above, I can add little to that concise and beautifully put paragraph. This book is a jewel - special in every sentence and idea.
I started to read it when a bit tired and when it quickly dawned on me how capable Gaige's writing is, I started again from the beginning but only reading it when fresh and able to fully appreciate it's subtlety.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Fades out. 8 Jun. 2014
It looked promising. The review quotes sounded good. However, ultimately it was not very believable for me and I was skipping quite a lot towards the end, especially the phrase written consecutively over several pages. It began well but sort of faded out and I felt relieved the little girl was taken into safety.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great. 12 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I chose this book because it made a change to read about a dad's relationship with his daughter and to some extent it didn't disappoint in this respect. The book is written in the first person by Eric Schroder/Kennedy and the characterisation of Eric is such that you forget that the book is written by a female author. The book raises a lot of interesting ideas about lies; whether solicitors ever actually help in a custody battle; the beauty of silences; what constitutes kidnapping (Eric suggests he didn't kidnap his daughter he just took her on an "adventure". Eric doesn't come across as a great parent (or even a good one) and perhaps that is why I struggled with him. Give it a go and see what you think - its an easy read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this short novel about a father taking his own ...
Really enjoyed this short novel about a father taking his own daughter due to a custody battle. I liked the flitting to and fro from his own past. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jojo1975
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the most powerful book of2013
Loved this book to a unhealthy degree and have lent it to everyone I know. It's unsettling, powerful, emotionally charged and elegantly written. A must read.
Published 12 months ago by Fiona Baird
5.0 out of 5 stars Shroder gets reviewed by D
This was a fabulous book. I first spotted it at the Edinburgh Book Festival and decided to purchase it for my Kindle. It really struck a chord with me. Read more
Published 18 months ago by D
5.0 out of 5 stars Tear jerker
The heartbreaking story of a marriage gone wrong and a terrible warning for the absent parent not to take matters into their own hands. Read more
Published 18 months ago by sheila b
2.0 out of 5 stars Paint Drying Very Slowly
Jeez this book is one long drag of a whinge. I don't think I've come across a more self pitying drone of a lead since Catcher In The Rye. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mr. Drayton
5.0 out of 5 stars Schroder by Amity Gaige
We read this for book club and it provided a good discussion at the end. I can't say I would re-read it though it was OK at the time.
Published 19 months ago by Bardot
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but with a few flaws
This book is a long confession by the protagonist, Schroder. The way it is written is very compelling and kept me interested and curious till the end. Read more
Published 22 months ago by London Bookworm
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