At first glance, this would seem like a science fiction book. Probably a book about stars because of the title. Or likely about a city in another galaxy. Hahaha. It's not that at all. It is far from sci-fi. You will definitely be surprised to know that this is actually a psychological book.
This is after the hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. The people and the government are still in the process of picking up from the aftermath of the hurricane. A lot of houses were left abandoned and falling apart. People have moved to Texas or some other state. The story revolves around one family. Maurice Delahoussaye, the father is an insurance agent. His unfaithful wife, Vivian, is a reporter from Chanel Four News. His eldest child, Audrey, who is in college, is having an affair with her married professor. His other kid, Brandon, is in High School and is smoking pot. His rich father, Virgil, is living in a nursing home because his house was destroyed by Katrina. He is still in good shape for his age.
Maurice has always been paranoid. He was always suspicious of his surroundings. But it has gotten worse right after Katrina and Vivian's betrayal. Vivian cheated on him and is pregnant with another man's baby. This has taken a toll on Maurice and he has been acting way way far from the usual.
This family has given meaning to the word dysfunctional. Each person seems to have his/her own issue. I think, it's only Virgil who has come to terms with his past and is now trying to live a normal life. I guess, in his age, he should. What is sad is, each member knows what is wrong but is not doing anything to change the situation. I agree with Audrey that it is Vivian's fault. The rapidly developing extreme paranoia of Maurice is due to his love and strong desire to protect Vivian and the unborn baby from the supposed father. If Vivian had just left the man alone when he told her that he doesn't want to have anything to do with baby, then everything would have not escalated. It was like a domino effect and Maurice's mind which was barely hanging on a thread because of all the stress, totally unraveled. And it was only Audrey who noticed the difference in his actions. I think Audrey's character would have been perfect and ideal if she broke off with the professor right when she felt suspicious. But she didn't, she was in denial. But I am glad that in the end, she realized her worth. I would definitely have done the same things she had done to get back to the professor. If only, she had planned them properly so nothing can be traced back to her.
All in all, I wasn't really into the story. I think it took a while for it to come into conclusion, especially, in the case of Maurice. He never suspected that he was way off-kilter. He had become so delusional. But at least, he was off-the-hook. I would hate for him to go to jail. I feel so sorry for him. I liked also how the rest of the story got resolved. It seemed that all of the worrying and all the extreme measures Maurice has taken was all for naught. In the end, it turned out he has nothing to worry about. In a way, it was hilarious but I did not see it that way right after I finished the story. I just came to see it now while writing this. Poor Maurice! Yes, as what he said in the ending. It was not bad at all.
I give the book three falling stars.
People still need to have dreams. Even if those dreams are unrealistic.
- Chris Tusa, In the City of the Falling Stars -
Hard Cover Release: September 30, 2016