State of the Union
America in the 1960s was an era of radical upheaval–of civil rights protests and anti-war marches; of sexual liberation and hallucinogenic drugs. More tellingly, it was a time when you weren’t supposed to trust anyone over the age of thirty; when, if you were young, you rebelled against your parents and their conservative values.
But not Hannah Buchan.
Hannah is a great disappointment to her famous radical father and painter mother. Instead of mounting the barricades and embracing this age of profound social change, she wants nothing more than to marry her doctor boyfriend and raise a family in a small town.
Hannah gets her wish. But once installed as the doctor’s wife in a nowhere corner of Maine, boredom sets in... until an unforeseen moment of personal rebellion changes everything. Especially as Hannah is forced into breaking the law.
For decades, this one transgression in an otherwise faultless life remains buried. But then, in the charged atmosphere of America after 9/11, her secret comes out and her life goes into freefall.
Read an Excerpt
AFTER HE WAS arrested, my father became famous.
It was 1966 – and Dad (or John Winthrop Latham, as he was known to everyone except his only child) was the first professor at the University of Vermont to speak out against the war in Vietnam. That spring, he headed a campus-wide protest that resulted in a sit-down demonstration outside the Administration Building. My dad led three hundred students as they peacefully blocked the entrance for thirty-six hours, bringing university executive business to a standstill. The police and National Guard were finally called. The protestors refused to move, and Dad was... see more
Reading Group Guide
While many American college students in the 1960s are marching in protests, using hallucinogenic drugs, and practicing free love, Hannah Latham, the daughter of a famous radical father and a painter mother, wants nothing more than to marry her doctor boyfriend and raise a family in a small town. Hannah gets her wish and settles in rural Maine with her husband, Dan, and their baby son, but she soon finds herself bored and isolated. One night an old acquaintance shows up at Hannah’s door . . . and she makes a decision that will force her into breaking the law and will change her life forever.
Over the next three decades, Hannah’s transgression remains a deeply buried secret, until a frightening incident involving her daughter, Lizzie, suddenly brings the past to light. As Hannah’s life spins out of control, she is faced with the possibility of losing everything—and everyone—she has ever loved.
TOPICS & QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. How does Kennedy build suspen see more