The Storm at the Door

Author(s): Stefan Merrill Block


Just outside Boston, in 1963, Frederick Merrill found himself a patient in the country's premiere mental hospital, a world of structured authority and absolute control - a forced regression to a simpler time even as the pace of the outside world accelerated into modernity. Meanwhile, in a wintry New Hampshire village hours to the north, Frederick's wife Katharine struggled to hold together her fracturing family and to heal from the wounds of her husband's affliction. Nearly fifty years later, a writer in his twenties attempts to comprehend his grandparents' story from that turbulent time, a moment in his family's history that continues to cast a long shadow over his own young life. Spanning generations and genres, "The Storm at the Door" blends memory and imagination, historical fact and compulsive storytelling, to offer a meditation on how our love for one another and the stories we tell ourselves allow us to endure. Quietly incisive and unflinchingly honest, "The Storm at the Door" juxtaposes the visceral physical world of Frederick's asylum with an exploration of how the subtlest damages can for ever alter a family's fate.


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Based on the true story of Stefan Merrill Block's grandparents' marriage, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful novel.

"A great love story . . . a beautiful book." "Powerful, enthralling, unforgettable." Karen Russell, author of "Swamplandia!" "Brilliant . . . [a] heartbreaking love story of an enduring marriage . . . Stefan Merrill Block is an amazing writer, at once cerebral and tender, lyrical and profound." - Kate Christensen, author of "The Great Man, " winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award "Remarkable . . . Alternating between Frederick's struggles on the ward and Katharine's efforts at home with their children, "The Storm at the Door" is a richly imagined, haunting account of how the mind can betray the heart, and vice versa."--"People" (four stars) "A remarkable work of literary fiction, a beguiling look at the interstices of language and sanity, memory and history." - Associated Press "[Block] masterfully pulls the reader through this heartbreaking story, making readers care deeply about what happens to his characters, as flawed as they are at times. It's this generation's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"." - "Publishers Weekly" (starred review) "Beguiling . . . a sharply perceptive, at times wrenching portrait of a marriage." - The Boston Globe"

Stefan Merrill Block was born in 1982 and grew up in Plano, Texas. He graduated from Washington University in St Louis in 2004. Block's first novel, the internationally acclaimed The Story of Forgetting, was published in 2008.

General Fields

  • : 9780571269617
  • : Faber and Faber
  • : Faber and Faber
  • : May 2012
  • : 198mm X 126mm X 22mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : July 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Stefan Merrill Block
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 813.6
  • : 352