The year is 2013 and the Greenspans are the envy of Brookline, Massachusetts, an idyllic (and idealistic) suburb west of Boston. Scott Greenspan is a successful physician with his own cardiology practice. His wife, Deb, is a pillar of the community who spends her free time helping resettle refugees. Their daughter, Maya, works at a distinguished New York publishing house and their son, Gideon, is preparing to follow in his father's footsteps.They are an exceptional family from an exceptional place, living in exceptional times. But when Scott is caught falsifying blood samples at work, he sets in motion a series of scandals that threatens to shatter his family. Deb leaves him for a female power broker; Maya rekindles a hazardous affair from her youth; and Gideon drops out of college to go on a dangerous journey that will put his principles to the test.
Skillfully enter[s] the viewpoint of all main characters, lending each depth and humanity ... Brisk and assured; occasionally, for comedy or plot propulsion, Ridker summarizes or speeds up a potentially intimate moment. His comic assurance...is reminiscent of Meg Wolitzer ... But if Ridker gently satirizes the world and those in it, his take is more generous than bitter ... Ridker is an optimist. His characters make mistakes, but they pay the price, recover and grow ... They soldier on and try not to lose hope. Just as we hold ours that this talented writer will keep gifting us with his intelligent, bighearted, spew-your-gefilte-fish-funny novels.
A series of absorbing portraits of compellingly flawed individuals and a vivid depiction of modern American life ... Ridker packs a lot into Hope ... In places, the novel feels too busy for its own good, with these characters’ detailed biographies and backstories clogging the narrative and stymieing momentum. And some of the imagery is clunky ... However, when Ridker gets the balance right, the novel is at once propulsive and immersive, powered by one tragicomic episode after another, right up until its final tension-filled paragraph.