University of Iowa Press
Set in the summer of 1979, when America was running out of gas, The Lines tells the story of a family of four—the mother, the father, the girl, and the boy—in the first months of a marital separation. Through alternating perspectives, we follow the family as they explore new territory, new living arrangements, and new complications. The mother returns to school. The father moves into an apartment. The girl squares off with her mother, while the boy struggles to make sense of the world.
The Lines explores the ways we are tied to one another, and how all experience offers the possibility of love and connection as much as loss and change.
“A master of narrative control, Varallo creates the kind of page-turning suspense you don’t expect in a book like this… A darkly cutting investigation of dysfunction in which the kids, more often than not, are way sharper than the parents.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)