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.