The Stager

Sarah Crichton: Farrar. Jul. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780374268817. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374710729. F
Ten-year-old Elsa Jorgenson has more than her share of worries: a lost pet rabbit named Dominique; a nanny with a mysterious bag of "tea"; her ex-tennis pro father's health concerns; an absent, high-powered executive mother; a lack of Pop-Tarts; and an imminent move to London as soon as the family's Washington, DC, area McMansion sells. To that end, Eve, a property stager, has been tasked with making the Jorgenson home salable, if only lonely and bored Elsa would leave her alone. Father Lars mourns his glamorous days on the international tennis circuit, while he ponders wife Bella's fidelity (and Elsa's paternity). We learn of Eve's past connection to Bella just as the Jorgenson family begins to spiral out of control in this funny and biting suburban farce. And, through it all, the specter of lost Dominique hops through the perfectly manicured suburban hedges.
VERDICT Fans of "suburban noir" should make room for five-time novelist Coll (Beach Week; Acceptance) alongside their Tom Perrotta and John Updike collections.
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