D. F. Whipple

Shadow Fields Book Review

What happens when you wake up from the American Dream to find that you are actually living in an American nightmare? Can reality ever be as good as all you had hoped for? In D. F. Whipple's wild original debut, Shadow Fields, we're about to find out.

Jack Maguire has it all: charm, power, and enough money made on Wall Street to live like a king. But things are definitely not what they seem. His wife Jennifer, for instance, is so plagued by her past that she soon sinks into the brink of madness. His daughter Anne is depressed and suicidal. And Jack's favorite anodyne, work, just isn't doing the job for him all of a sudden. How can Jack live when the only dreams he has now are broken ones?

As satirical as Thomas Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities and as inventive as Nabokov, Whipple has great fun poking holes into Wall Street sacred cows. His prose is diamond-hard and shining with meaning, and his characters are so alive and rich, you'll swear you know them personally.

But Whipple is after more important things than creating mere satire. This is a tough reexamination of lives in the balance, careers on the make or break, and the casual way in which we sell our souls to achieve what we only think we want.

Blistering, funny and deeply moving, this cautionary tale tells us to be careful for what we wish for, because getting it may not make us happy. At least not as happy as this richly satirical novel does.

New York Times Best Selling Author Ellen Tanner Marsh