The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047
- Author: Lionel Shriver
- Publisher: Borough Press
- ISBN: 9780007560776
The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their 97-year old patriarch dies. Yet America’s soaring national debt has grown so enormous that it cannever be repaid. Under siege from an upstart international currency, the dollar is inmeltdown. A bloodless world war will wipe out the savings of millions of American families.Their inheritance turned to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also — as the effects of the downturn start to hit — the challenge of sheer survival. Recently affluent Avery is petulant that she can’t buy olive oil, while her sister Florence isforced to absorb strays into her increasingly cramped household. As their father Carterfumes at having to care for his demented stepmother now that a nursing home is tooexpensive, his sister Nollie, an expat author, returns from abroad at 73 to a country that’sunrecognizable. Perhaps only Florence’s oddball teenage son Willing, an economics autodidact, can savethis formerly august American family from the streets.This is not science fiction. This is a frightening, fascinating, scabrously funny glimpse intothe decline that may await the United States all too soon, from the pen of perhaps themost consistently perceptive and topical author of our times.