From a remarkable new voice in fiction, Bethany Ball, comes a transporting debut; a hilarious multigenerational family saga set in Israel, New York, and Los Angeles that explores the secrets and gossip-filled lives of a kibbutz community near Jerusalem.
Meet Marc Solomon, an Israeli ex-Navy commando now living in L.A., who is falsely accused of money laundering through his asset management firm. As the Solomons’ Santa Monica home is raided, Marc’s American wife, Carolyn—concealing her own dark past—makes hopeless attempts to hold their family of five together. But news of the scandal makes its way from America to the rest of the Solomon clan on the kibbutz in the Jordan River Valley. There we encounter various members of the family and the community—from Marc’s self-absorbed movie actress sister, Shira, and her forgotten son Joseph; to his rich and powerful construction magnate father, Yakov; to his former star-crossed love, Maya; and his brother-in-law Guy Gever, a local ranger turned “artist.” As the secrets and rumors of the kibbutz are revealed through various memories and tales, we witness the things that keep the Solomons together, and those that tear them apart.
Reminiscent of Nathan Englander’s For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, and told with razor-sharp humor and elegant acuity, What to Do About the Solomons is an exhilarating first book from a bright new star in fiction.
“In What to Do About the Solomons, Bethany Ball peels back the manicured surface of family and community to surgically expose a world of hurt. Told in a razor-sharp prose that takes no prisoners, this is that rare book that can make you laugh while it’s breaking your heart. I couldn’t get enough.” ~ David Hollander, author of L.I.E.
"Bethany Ball, in her fearless literary debut, goes deep into contemporary life to give the reader characters so alive we have met them and a story so true it takes fiction to tell it. From Israel to Manhattan to Connecticut and back, on a bridge of family, money, lies, drugs, and false accusations. For the reader, a knock on the door will never be the same." ~ Scott Wolven, author of Controlled Burn
“Bethany Ball is a sharp, sensitive writer whose gift for details—a gesture, an article of clothing, a square stone, a meal eaten by a lonely, neglected ten-year-old—reveals, magically, whole worlds. She is both tender and relentless with her characters: her affection for them is palpable, yet she subjects them to exquisitely revealing examinations. We’re lucky she does, for here in What to Do About the Solomons a family and its most harrowing moments come to life so completely we forget that we’re not reading about ourselves and our own families.” ~ Nelly Reifler, author of Elect H. Mouse State Judge and See Through
"Bethany Ball lays bare the complexities of modern life in prose that has the resonant simplicity of a fairy tale. Readers who love I.B. Singer and Grace Paley now have another writer to adore.” ~ Brian Morton, author of Starting Out in the Evening