Julie Langsdorf: White Elephant



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Ovel provides There is so much lurking just beneath the very funny surface Gentrification is at the core of this story with a few families bickering over trees and sizestyle of their neighboring ouses with each side gaining allies and enemies until the whole previously charming town devolves into war mode But just as important are the issues about classism about marriage and fidelity about parenting and about the social politics of close knit communities of mothers And that ending I won t say much for fear of spoiling it but I found it very emotionally satisfyingIn short I loved this novel and I can t believe that this is Julie Langsdorf s debut novel I would Out of the Ashes (The Legacy Chronicles, happily read anything this author writes If you like Liane Moriarty you will love this novel Most strongly recommended To put it as succinctly as possible I LOVED this book With WHITE ELEPHANT Julie Langsdorf perfectly captures life in the suburbs the tension and competition between neighbors the comfort of cozy familiar spots the dreams that get put onold to keep things afloat and the sense of community that can be both stifling and lifesaving The characters in this novel were all incredibly rich written with so much depth and empathy that I often found myself not only sympathizing but actually falling in love with characters that I BITE (A Mate Of His Own had previously written off as vapid or villainous The story is deeply compelling full of brutal truths and immense warmth Funny and clever moving andeartfelt this novel is perfect for book clubs college syllabi or just any time you re in need of a terrific story Oh what to say about white elephant It was a pretty ok book I didn t ate it but I also didn t love it It felt like someone took a typical contemporary formula filled in all of the reuired areas and put it together So in that respect it works From the beginning there seem to be too many characters jumping around in the narration This does eventually work itself out but I wasn t even sure that some of the characters were the children until later into the story so that could ave been better explained in the beginning The story line is an obsession with first world problems and a weird obsession with trees and the Six-Moon Trail hatred of a large eye sore of aouse In and of itself it s not a Mustard Seed Magic horrible premise but the emotion was lackluster at best The only real emotion I felt was angry at theorrible teenager towards the end of the book Otherwise there wasn t a lot to make this book stand out other than a bit of an exploration into the male characters when a lot of books of this type place almost all emphasis on the female characters This was a fine book nothing glaring was wrong with it but there just wasn t any wow factor for me Solid at 3 stars. Not so armless prank Newcomers and longtime residents alike clash in conflicting pursuits of the American Dream with trees mysteriously uprooted fingers pointed and lines drawnWhite Elephant is a tangled web tale of a community on the verge and its all too uman inhabitants who long to connect but can’t seem to find the words It's a story about opposing sides struggling to find a middle ground a parable for our tim.

Ards can Leftover Dead (Trailer Park Mystery, have sunlight and neighborsave disputes over fences branches mailboxes and plowing I The Witches have witnessed communities caught up in grievances surrounding property lines barking dogs and early morning leaf blowing Author Julie Langsdorf creates Willard Park a small town outside of Washington DC where amidst the community craziness we meet well meaning imperfect characters living their lives to the best of their abilities Those of us living in suburban areas outside of cities will relate to this slice of life entertaining debut White Elephant where neighborly tensions runigh and add to the stress of everyday life tired marriages and over exposed mortgages In this satirical debutread and A with author I m not afraid to admit I Splinter have what are referred to as first world problems Myome s WiFi connection is spotty I Breed of Innocence (The Breed Chronicles have a neighbor who takesis garbage out at seemingly the worst time possible translation past my daughter s bedtime and sometimes my own and loudly to boot My spacious patio larger than most peoples apartments needs to be re stained The gall that such matters would find their way into my life and disrupt the balance I d worked so The Princes Mistress hard to achieve I m kidding by the way Not about the problems themselves but my reaction to them Sadly I m in the minorityere what with social media and its unfortunate ability to provide everyone a forum Everyone else s first world problems Immortal Jellyfish have become our own It doesn t make them any tolerable less so in fact No one needs to know you scalded your tongue on a cup ofot coffee Sorry I meant tall non fat latte with Caramel Drizzle Also Starbucks sucksBefore I start sounding like those I am criticizing Wow What an amazing lens into a supposedly idyllic suburban DC community It s so rich weaving together so many threads each uniue and fresh in its own way On the one California hand it s a witty and satirical commentary on American suburbia and at the same time there s a lot of insight about what it means to be a motherwife and what the ramifications are for women s own individual needs and desires The mix is fascinating and the novel as a whole is sharp warm and downrightilarious Probably my favorite aspect of WHITE ELEPHANT is the incredible voice Clever funny witty every sentence from beginning to end was a pure pleasure to read I almost didn t even care what was Afgantsy happening from a plot perspective because the narrative asides were so entertaining The story is told from multiple points of view with an intimacy that allows the readers to get to know the all toouman motivations and emotions of the characters The result complex vividly drawn characters who earn our sympathy and understanding I m also in awe over the brilliant social commentary this Effort to make Distant Early Warning (Star Trek (Star Trek: S.C.E., his unsightly property appealing to buyers their once serene town becomes a battlegroundWhile tensions between Ted and Nick escalate other dysfunctions abound Allison findserself compulsively drawn to the man who threatens to upend Somnium her uietly organized life A lawyer with a potabit and a serious mid life crisis skirts is responsibilities And in a uest for popularity a teenage girl gets caught up in

Beware of books where all the 5 star reviews come from other authors andor obvious friends of the author of the book There is nothing amusing interesting or meaningful about this book Abandoned Sharp sly and laugh out loud funny this novel follows three families in a DC suburb as their parents children and notions of ome come into conflict Julie Langsdorf s descriptions of the anxieties of the wealthy what their neighbors are up to ow their marriages appear from the outside whether their ouses are appreciating in value are so good claustrophobically good making you prickle with their tension as you read You can feel Langsdorf s love for every character even as you relish Maid of Dishonor (The Wedding Season, heronesty about them Wonderful Ah I do enjoy a good suburban satire Langsdorf focuses on three main families living in an established neighborhood in a fictional DC suburb All Dem Nordpol am nächsten have different expectations As McMansions threaten to take over the smaller but charming originalomes a classic fight over trees ignites political unease All Heart Beat hell breaks loose in this darklyumorous take on suburban life Satire soothes my soul I love when we can tastefully poke fun at real issues The Site Book however big or small Interesting suburban drama and not that far fetched Unfortunately many of the characters were a bit thin and the story somewhat unfocused This is one case where I think the book couldave been a little longer to better develop the characters and situations in the story 25 This novel explores family dynamics and pressures of marriage in it s perplexities The novel is a century old small bedroom community of a large city somewhere in the Northeast This community of Willard Park is representational of society as a whole One is the juxtaposition of the otherWillard Park is a microcosm of the challenges of defining what is good and desirous as well as what is no longer valued and unnecessary As the community is in flux as considers its preservation and future What and The Devils Possession how are the rules decided and by whom Likewise the three marriages examined show the toxicity of remaining and relying on set patterns rather than exploring new possibilities and growth As each marriage faces crisis the couples must decide whether to meet change or run away Much like Willard Park they can face change with a positive attitude or allow decay to lead to a devastating conclusion The framework though a bit obvious and over simplified is a light look at serious matters Enjoy the Crazy Behind the Scenes Look at Suburbia in thisumorous satirical debut novel White Elephant by Julie LangsdorfHaving grown up and currently living in a small town in suburbia where over time modest Betraying Beauty (Vegas Titans, houses are knocked down and replaced by mansions trees are removed so A turf war between neighbors leads to a small town crisis in this sharply observant debut novel perfect for fans of Tom Perrotta Meg Wolitzer and Celeste NgThe white elephant looms large over the town of Willard Park a newly constructed behemoth of aome it towers over the uaint Vrolok houses including Allison and Ted Millers’ tinyundred year old ome When owner Nick Cox cuts down the Millers’ precious red maple in an.

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Julie Langsdorf's essays and stories have appeared in Lit Hub and Electric Literature among other publications White Elephant her debut novel was named a new book to watch for and an editors' choice by The New York Times a book not to miss by USA Today a highly anticipated debut novel by The LA Times a best new book by Southern Living Magazine and Real Simple and a Library Journal best deb