Why city folk shouldn’t move to the country

The new novel New World Monkeys (available 9/15) opens with Duncan and Lily, a young married couple, driving upstate to their newly acquired country home and, on the way, hitting a wild boar. The animal is still alive and in pain, and Lily smashes its skull with a tire iron. Foreboding foreshadowing, much? You have no idea: Nancy Mauro’s darkly comedic debut novel quickly veers from one eccentric plot twist to another, making for a fascinating and compelling read.

It turns out the boar, left hidden by the side of the road, was a cherished pet and mascot of the town to which they are headed. And then things just get weirder—the couple discover human remains in their backyard; Lily befriends the town pervert; and Duncan comes up with a deeply un-p.c. ad campaign in a last-ditch effort to save his career. But all of these things are secondary to what’s really at stake—the state of their quickly crumbling marriage. Mauro writes winningly about the lengths we sometimes must go to in order to find our way back.

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