Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
The Complicities
Cover of The Complicities
The Complicities
Borrow Borrow
Award-winning author Stacey D'Erasmo tells a haunting and emotionally affecting story about a woman trying to rebuild her life after her husband's arrest, and what she knew—or pretended not to know— about where their family's money came from.
After her husband Alan's decades of financial fraud are exposed, Suzanne's wealthy, comfortable life shatters. Alan goes to prison. Suzanne files for divorce, decamps to a barely middle-class Massachusetts beach town, and begins to create a new life and identity. Ignoring a steady stream of calls from Norfolk State Prison, she tries to cleanse herself of all connections to her ex-husband. She tells herself that he, not she, committed the crimes.
Then Alan is released early, and the many people whose lives he ruined demand restitution. But when Suzanne finds herself awestruck at a major whale stranding, she makes an apparently high-minded decision that ripples with devastating effect not only through Alan's life as he tries to rebuild but also through the lives of Suzanne and Alan's son, Alan's new wife, his estranged mother, and, ultimately, Suzanne herself.
When damage is done, who pays? Who loses? Who is responsible?
With biting wisdom, The Complicities examines the ways in which the stories we tell ourselves—that we didn't know, that we weren't there, that it wasn't our fault—are also finally stories of our own deep complicity.
Award-winning author Stacey D'Erasmo tells a haunting and emotionally affecting story about a woman trying to rebuild her life after her husband's arrest, and what she knew—or pretended not to know— about where their family's money came from.
After her husband Alan's decades of financial fraud are exposed, Suzanne's wealthy, comfortable life shatters. Alan goes to prison. Suzanne files for divorce, decamps to a barely middle-class Massachusetts beach town, and begins to create a new life and identity. Ignoring a steady stream of calls from Norfolk State Prison, she tries to cleanse herself of all connections to her ex-husband. She tells herself that he, not she, committed the crimes.
Then Alan is released early, and the many people whose lives he ruined demand restitution. But when Suzanne finds herself awestruck at a major whale stranding, she makes an apparently high-minded decision that ripples with devastating effect not only through Alan's life as he tries to rebuild but also through the lives of Suzanne and Alan's son, Alan's new wife, his estranged mother, and, ultimately, Suzanne herself.
When damage is done, who pays? Who loses? Who is responsible?
With biting wisdom, The Complicities examines the ways in which the stories we tell ourselves—that we didn't know, that we weren't there, that it wasn't our fault—are also finally stories of our own deep complicity.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Subjects-
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Stacey D'Erasmo is the author of four novels and one book of nonfiction. She has been the recipient of a Stegner Fellowship in fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction, and a Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize from Lambda Literary, among other awards. Her essays, features, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, the Boston Review, Bookforum, the New England Review, and Ploughshares, among other publications. She is an associate professor of writing and publishing practices at Fordham University.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 13, 2022
    Three women consider their relationships with a white-collar criminal in this perfect outing from D’Erasmo (Wonderland). The lion’s share is narrated by Suzanne, whose ex-husband, Alan, “did things with people’s money that you aren’t really supposed to do” when they were married. After the divorce, Suzanne moves to Chesham, Mass., a down-at-the-heels Cape Cod beach town, to figure out her next move. The second woman is Lydia, whom Suzanne describes as “young, willowy, blonde.” Lydia, who is partially disfigured from a car accident, falls in love with Alan after he’s released from prison; her take on Alan is that “he’d done his time.” Then there’s Sylvia, Alan’s estranged mother, a former “wild child” in Suzanne’s view, from whom he inherited his talent with numbers. Into this nuanced story D’Erasmo drops an unexpected fifth character, a whale that beaches near Suzanne’s new home in Chesham. The whale—enormous, otherworldly, and in distress—awakens a part of Suzanne that she never knew existed. “Maybe,” she thinks, “all of our misfortune had happened to bring me there, to meet and help this grand, suffering creature.” The sentiment leads her to an act with cascading and devastating consequences for Lydia, Sylvia, and Alan. With smooth shifts in perspective and understated and precise prose, D’Erasmo demonstrates a mastery of the craft. The result is propulsive and profound.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2022
    A Massachusetts woman tries to rebuild her life after her husband goes to prison for a white-collar crime. Suzanne and Alan had a good life in Boston. They had a big house, with a housekeeper and a gardener, a darling if somewhat aimless son, the freedom to travel. All of this was courtesy of Alan's successful brokerage business and Suzanne's ability to keep the household running smoothly. But then everything blew up: Alan had been defrauding people and is sent to prison for his crimes, and Suzanne leaves, insisting to anyone who will listen, including the reader, that she didn't understand enough about money to know what Alan was doing, not really. The novel begins with Suzanne arriving in the seaside town of Chesham, trying to start her life over as a massage therapist (or "bodywork" practitioner), to reconnect with her college-age son, who has sided with Alan, and to come to terms with her own complicity in the collapse of her life. D'Erasmo sets herself up for a challenge, perhaps, in trying to make wealthy white-collar criminals sympathetic, but in many ways this circumstance is beside the point. Though Suzanne gets the most airtime, her central narrative is spliced together with the perspectives of two other women: Lydia, Alan's new wife, whom he met after being released from prison and who has demons of her own; and Sylvia, Alan's estranged mother. It's only in piecing together all three of these narratives that we get a fuller picture of Alan, and that's the point, through D'Erasmo's clever telling--people can never be seen whole, and parts you think you see never tell the full tale. "A real genealogy chart would trace damage back and back," Suzanne muses. "It would look like a kaleidoscope." Slow burning but thoughtful and deftly structured.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2022

    D'Erasmo's fifth novel (after Wonderland) is told in the voice of the 50-ish Suzanne, whose lifestyle as a wealthy housewife ends abruptly when her husband, Alan, a charming sociopath, is imprisoned for financial crimes. She divorces him, estranging herself from her son, and moves to a Cape Cod resort town, where she ekes out a modest existence as a masseuse. Suzanne volunteers with community members assisting a whale beached on a nearby shore, prompting musings on society's wider complicities in destroying the environment. Later--the novel's timeline is purposefully vague--Alan is released and marries a once beautiful woman named Lydia, now partially disfigured from a fiery accident. Suzanne ultimately connects with Lydia and Alan's mother, Sylvia, a nomadic older woman who supports herself through small-time gambling and must ultimately ask herself how complicit she was in Alan's crime. VERDICT This enjoyable novel is filled with intriguing characters, whom D'Erasmo wrangles with deft changes of viewpoint, and the prose abounds with lyrical imagery. But its particular strength is its examination of that liminal space between innocence and culpability, leaving readers to judge whether these characters are as innocent as they want to believe.--Reba Leiding

    Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2022
    Suzanne has concocted her own witness protection program, living on her wits in a bedraggled small town on Cape Cod, a far cry from her fancy life as the stylish wife of a financial wizard in prison for duping clients and leaving them destitute. Insisting that she had no idea what Alan was up to, she promptly divorced him and now their college-age son won't answer her calls. As Suzanne copes with limited funds, loneliness, and rage, a right whale becomes stranded on the beach. Rocked to her core by the animal's magnitude, majesty, and mystery, she throws herself into the rescue effort. Suddenly her woes seem insignificant. Aren't we all complicit in the decimation of the oceans and the whale's tragic fate? As Alan is released and marries a steely woman scorched by hellfire, Suzanne is pulled back into the force field of his crimes and subjected to evermore burning questions about her complicity. As in all her finely wrought, shrewdly piercing novels, D'Erasmo (Wonderland, 2014) keeps us recalibrating our perceptions. The details about the whale are dramatic and deeply affecting. Every human exchange is fraught, and our feelings about Suzanne rise and fall like the tides. An arresting and intricately spun inquiry into talent, resentment, and risk, love and betrayal, self and community, guilt and retribution.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Hachette Audio
  • OverDrive Listen
    Release date:
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

Device Compatibility Notice

The OverDrive app is required for this format on your current device.

Close

Bahrain, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Complicities
The Complicities
Stacey D'Erasmo
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel