Olympus, Texas: A Novel
This spellbinding dysfunctional family saga set in small-town Texas is rife with allusions to classical mythology. Everyone knows everyone else’s business in the fictional town of Olympus, especially when it comes to the notorious Briscoe family. The clan is “a walking collection of deadly sins,” and due to patriarch Peter’s philandering, his children populate several households in town. When prodigal son March returns home after a years-long exile imposed after sleeping with his sister-in- law, he sets a devastating chain of events in motion. Though the story spans a mere six days, several lifetimes’ worth of secrets are revealed in that time, and the ensuing consequences to the family and their town are irrevocable. A modern spin on Greek tragedy, full of fistfights and firearms; I’ve been recommending it nonstop ever since I turned the last page. (Content warning for violence, including domestic violence.)
*A GOOD MORNING AMERICA Book Club Pick!*
“The Iliad meets Friday Night Lights in this muscular, captivating debut.” —Oprah Daily
“Wildly entertaining.” —Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls
A bighearted debut with technicolor characters, plenty of Texas swagger, and a powder keg of a plot in which marriages struggle, rivalries flare, and secrets explode, all with a clever wink toward classical mythology.
The Briscoe family is once again the talk of their small town when March returns to East Texas two years after he was caught having an affair with his brother’s wife. His mother, June, hardly welcomes him back with open arms. Her husband’s own past affairs have made her tired of being the long-suffering spouse. Is it, perhaps, time for a change? Within days of March’s arrival, someone is dead, marriages are upended, and even the strongest of alliances are shattered. In the end, the ties that hold them together might be exactly what drag them all down.
An expansive tour de force, Olympus, Texas cleverly weaves elements of classical mythology into a thoroughly modern family saga, rich in drama and psychological complexity. After all, at some point, don’t we all wonder: What good is this destructive force we call love?