American Family Divided
Issues tearing America apart divide a family. In 1996, Joe wins a national best ad man award. His wife claims the products he pitches destroy our planet. His son bolts to the Amazon instead of working for one of Joe’s clients. After Jesse’s murder, Joe rejects rumors that Jesse died at the hand of Joe’s client. He and his wife seek the truth in Peru. Joe is forced to reassess his life. More
American Family Divided is a thought provoking, prescient, poignant, and, at times, witty story about a family that is torn asunder over issues that are beginning to rend the entire fabric of modern American society apart.
It’s 1996 - a glorious, innocent, optimistic time - five years before 9-11, nine before Katrina, twelve before economic catastrophe, and sixteen before Sandy.
Joe Idelman lives the American Dream. He wins our nation’s best ad man award. But his wife Marie hounds him, claiming the products he pitches pollute and destroy our world. She attacks his embrace of American behaviors like consumerism, and American policies on issues like immigration, the Middle East, the environment, and education. The couple’s adult daughter Candi sides with Dad, angry that Mom doesn’t respect or appreciate her husband, or his opinions, and the fabulous life style he provides her.
Marie’s continued disrespect leads Joe to become entangled with Carnelle, an understanding model. Jesse, their son and his mother’s sole mate, bolts when pressured to work for Dad’s client, fleeing the corporate trap to seek adventure in the rain forest.
After Jesse is stricken by tragedy, Joe rejects suspicions that his son suffered at the hands of one of his own clients. Marie then drags Joe off to Peru to search for the facts. When the brutal truth assaults him, Joe is forced to decide whether to continue on the path that has brought him huge success, or to pursue instead, a totally new life course.
The novel explores the human consequences of current changes in core American life and the values, beliefs, and behaviors it promotes. The book will appeal to anyone willing to consider that pursuit of the American Dream might instead create an American nightmare and force us all to reassess our core beliefs, values and lifestyles.