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The Coast of Akron by Adrienne Miller
The Coast of Akron is set, naturally, in Akron, Ohio, but the family at the center of it is anything but normal. Lowell Haven is a famous artist who only does self-portraits. Jenny, his ex-wife, struggles with the family secrets. Fergus, his gay lover who was Jenny's friend, lives in a fake Tudor mansion. His daughter, Merit, is married to an obsessive-compulsive engineer and is having an affair with a stoner assistant at work. The story alternates between Merit and Fergus' present-day perspective and entries from Jenny's diary from the 1970s. Fergus throws a party with the intention of unveiling the secret that Jenny hides. Adrienne Miller's absurdist fiction in the quiet of the Midwest has received mostly positive reviews. BookPage says, "The Coast of Akron is a standout debut well worth exploring. Miller's eclectic characters are flawed and deceitful, yet heartbreakingly human, while her writing is brutally honest, often hilarious and endlessly haunting."