Break­ing and Entering

  • From the Publisher
April 27, 2012
Break­ing and Enter­ing, writ­ten by Eileen Pol­lack (“an Amer­i­can tal­ent,” Stephen King), is a time­ly, grip­ping new nov­el about the deep divi­sions in Amer­i­ca today. Set against the trag­ic events of the Okla­homa City bomb­ings, Break­ing and Enter­ing fol­lows Christian/​Jewish cou­ple Louise and Richard Shapiro as they move from Cal­i­for­nia to rur­al Michi­gan with their daugh­ter Mol­ly in an attempt to save their mar­riage. They find their core beliefs about life and love test­ed as Louise strug­gles to under­stand why her for­mer­ly obser­vant Jew­ish hus­band has tak­en up shoot­ing, hunt­ing, and out­door sur­vival, befriend­ing peo­ple she is sure would have sided with the Nazis who tried to exter­mi­nate his par­ents, she grows increas­ing­ly dis­tant from him, and increas­ing­ly attract­ed to the dash­ing Uni­tar­i­an min­is­ter, Ames Wye, who fights to ban cre­ation­ism in local schools and to pro­vide safe-hous­es for local res­i­dents with HIV and AIDS. After McVeigh’s bomb­ing, Michi­gan becomes a test­ing ground for the cul­tur­al tol­er­ance so cen­tral to Amer­i­can iden­ti­ty. Break­ing and Enter­ing chal­lenges the stereo­types we hold about our fel­low Amer­i­cans while remind­ing us of the unex­pect­ed bonds that can form across the divide between so-called Red and Blue states.

Discussion Questions