Mona Simpson, Casebook (Knopf): In the opening scene of Simpson’s new novel, Miles Adler-Hart is hiding under his parents’ bed. He’s trying to eavesdrop on his mother (“the Mims,” he calls her), convinced that she is having vital conversations with the moms of the other kids in his fourth-grade class to decide how much TV he will be allowed to watch. Instead, he stumbles into the breakup of his parents’ marriage. Their divorce and relationships with new partners are shown through the eyes of Miles, who snoops deep into his parents’ adult lives, but has limited understanding of what he discovers there. There’s warm humor and deep feeling in its portrayal of the vulnerability and messiness of family life. newyorker.

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