The Rich People Have Gone Away

Hogarth. Aug. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9780593241868. $29. F
Darla is a professional musician; her husband Theo is an aesthetic consultant for real estate agencies in New York City. As the pandemic settles in, many privileged New Yorkers escape to their second homes, and Darla and Theo eventually head for her mother’s cabin upstate. They stop to hike before arriving at the cottage, and that sets the story spinning. They argue on the trail, and Darla rushes off. She slips, falls and hits her head, while Theo looks for her in the woods and back at the cottage and then returns to the city but delays involving the police. Darla wakes in the woods, gets back to the road, and hitches a ride to the train station. Instead of going home, she goes to Niagara Falls. With Darla seemingly missing, family members and others assemble to support Darla’s parents and Theo. Porter (The Travelers) expertly knits the lives of her characters together, exploring the past that has shaped the present as individual storylines converge with unexpected results.
VERDICT Readers will enjoy the variety of characters and their emotional chaos, as human interactions and relationships come under scrutiny in this deft and recommended novel.
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