In its nuanced portrait of a middle-aged suburbanite and his family, APPEARANCES challenges easy assumptions about the nature of kinship and selfhood, of crime and punishment, of appearance and reality. Steven Howe-Boomer, lawyer, family man-has settled into midlife contentment. Then, unexpectedly, Steven finds himself doubly shaken by something that a data search uncovers. Steven's father, Alonzo "Lon" Howe-long assumed to have died in 1958-is, in fact, still alive. And he is incarcerated in the Colorado State Penitentiary, two hours' drive south of where Steven lives in Denver. What follows is a series of revelations that shake Steven's perceptions of himself, his family, and his marriage. Unafraid of risking controversy in the pursuit of insight into the human condition, APPEARANCES is Joanne Greenberg's finest, most challenging, and most compassionate novel.
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