The Dependents

The Dependents

A wise and lyrical debut novel about a new widower confronting the truth about his long marriage.

After the sudden death of his wife, Maida, Gene is haunted by the fear that their marriage was not all it appeared to be. Alongside Ed and Gayle Donnelly, friends since college days, he tries to resurrect happy memories of the times the two couples shared, raising their children in a small New Hampshire town and vacationing together at a lake house every summer. Meanwhile, his daughter, Dary, challenges not only his happy version of the past but also his view of Maida. As a long-standing rift between them deepens, Gene starts to understand how unknown his daughter is to him--and how enigmatic his wife was as well. And a lingering suspicion seizes his mind that could upend everything he thought he knew.

Katharine Dion's assured debut moves seamlessly between Gene's present-day journey and the long history of a marriage and friendship. Rich and wonderfully alive, The Dependents is the most moving kind of drama, an intimate glance into the expanse of family life and the way we must all eventually bridge the chasm between what we want to believe and what we know to be true.

Title:The Dependents
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

About Katharine Dion

Katharine Dion was born in Oakland, California. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was awarded the Iowa Arts Fellowship. She is also a MacDowell Fellow and the recipient of a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She lives in Berkeley, California.


    The Dependents Reviews

  • Larry H

    Gene and Maida Ash were married for 49 years. Gene loved his wife very much, even if he didn't necessarily know how best to show it. But he enjoyed their life together, even if he felt that there were...

  • Elyse Walters

    From the very first paragraph, debut author Katharine Dion, drew me in.... “Gene’s interest in other people lay primarily in the mystery of their happiness.Happy children, happy parents tending ha...

  • Marjorie

    Gene and his wife Maida and Ed and his wife Gayle have been close friends since college. They raised their children together and took vacations at Ed and Gayle’s beach house. When Maida dies, Gene r...

  • Nancy

    Something was keeping me from writing a review of The Dependents by Katharine Dion. I loved the book. I found it thoughtful and moving and surprising, and somber and soulful. Why was I wordless?It cam...

  • Elizabeth

    The book just seemed to go on and on. At the end, I felt I had more questions than answers even with the detail the author provided. Story lines didn't feel all the way developed. The book did not liv...

  • Kate

    I didn't really understand this book. I felt lIke it didn't really go anywhere and would have been better as a short story than a novel. The author has a wonderful way with descriptions, though, and t...

  • Marianne

    I don't know how this book ended up on my radar-- I got it from the waiting list at our Library. The characters are colorless; they have no depth. I couldn't understand why the "friends" were ever fri...

  • Nancy

    Something was keeping me from writing a review of The Dependents by Katharine Dion. I loved the book. I found it thoughtful and moving and surprising, and somber and soulful. Why was I wordless?It cam...

  • Jennie Rosenblum

    This is a book to slow down and relish. Which I did and as I slowed down I enjoyed it even more. The main character, Gene, a recent widower explores his life from a different perspective after the une...

  • Rachel

    Beautiful writing in many ways, but read more like a short story to me rather than a satisfying novel. ...