The Town Crazy (Paperback)
The Town Crazy is set in the sleepy town of Hanzloo, Pennsylvania, a suburban Catholic community in 1961. A single father moves into town with his young son, which arouses suspicion from the husbands and the interest of the wives, but at the same time, one of the wives seems to be losing her mind, and no one knows what to do. A contemporary, often humorous take on a bygone era, The Town Crazy also delves into the terror and cruelty of childhood, the dangerous loneliness of failing marriages, sexual repression and desire, and the intersection of art and religion, all culminating in a tragedy for which everyone in the town bears some responsibility.
About the Author
Suzzy Roche is a singer/songwriter/performer/author and founding member of the singing group The Roches. She has recorded more than fifteen albums, written music for TV and film, and toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe. In addition to The Town Crazy, Roche is the author of the novel Wayward Saints and the children's book Want to Be in a Band? Currently she enjoys touring to sing with her daughter, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and lives in New York City.
"The Town Crazy casts a strong spell, and I don't think I've shaken it off yet, nor do I want to. Suzzy Roche understands so much about other people’s lives; her fiction, just like her singing and songwriting, is thrilling, beautiful, and shattering. I will be thinking about this town, these people, this captivating novel, for a long time." —Meg Wolitzer, Author of The Female Persuasion, The Interestings, and The Wife
For the author's previous novel, WAYWARD SAINTS: "Wayward Saints is funny, smart, poignant, the prose so clear, so direct, so true. This book is a joy." --Jane Hamilton, author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World
"Wayward Saints is full of wonderful observations about family, fame, guilt, aging, the stupid music business, and the power and glory of performing and creating. Most importantly, Suzzy Roche has written a book about love and redemption. And it's funny! I loved the little details and the big surprises." --Loudon Wainwright, Grammy-winning songwriter
"[Roche's] language is dazzling--unpredictable, supremely funny, irreverent, and full of authority. Wayward Saints is the best and most surprising debut novel I've read since I can't remember when." --Rosellen Brown, author of Half a Heart and Before and After
"If you've ever had the privilege of hearing Suzzy Roche sing, you know all about her perfect pitch, her angel's voice, her subtle wit. Her masterful debut novel, Wayward Saints, mines these same prodigious gifts. When Mary Saint, a once-promising indie rocker, is invited to perform in her hometown, where her mother, Jean, still holds court, the two are forced into a long-deferred reckoning: with each other and with the demons of their past. This is a golden-threaded tale of redemption, of the transformative powers of art, and of the mysteries, pains, and sacrifices of love." --Deborah Copaken Kogan, author of Hell Is Other Parents and The Red Book
"Spoiler alert: this book is wonderful from beginning to end. I loved every page." --Patricia Marx, author of Starting from Happy
"You'll step right into this page-turner of a romp-with-oddball-heart because you've known these characters forever, and by the end of the novel, you'll consider every last insecure one of them your friend." —Nancy Burke, Author of Undergrowth
""The Town Crazy is an absorbing novel about how damaging hasty assumptions and misplaced discretion can be." —Eileen Gonzalez, Foreword Reviews
"Singer-songwriter Roche (Wayward Saints) probes the secrets of a small American town in this immersive character-driven tale. . . . . Roche’s deep understanding of [the characters] will keep readers engaged all the way to the end." —Publishers Weekly
"[E]ven as Ms. Roche invests her characters with dimension, she falls short of hard-bitten realism. Between a dash of satire and a splash of reality, a gentle sense of sympathy for human frailty flutters in the writing of the novel, softening up the edges. When things go eventually terribly wrong in Hanzloo, there's a sense of sorrow in store for the reader that only the character-driven novel can bring. Yet resilience comes with time to the people of Hanzloo, some moving on, some staying put, and Clarisse McCarthy even acknowledging the mystery of life and finding value in ambiguity — finding herself drawn, of all things, to a poem." —Evan Harris, East Hampton Star
"This novel contains many surprises and rich character portraits and touches on passion, the pain of disappointing marriages, the destructiveness of gossip and the fragility of childhood, and she leaves us with a message of peace, love and understanding." —Cindy Stagoff, NJArts
"Roche lays bare the outsized impact petty rivalries can have in a small community so tightly knit it creates a stranglehold." —Bridget Thoreson, Booklist