Over the course of a summer in a wealthy Connecticut community, a forty-something woman and her college-age stepson’s lives fall apart in a series of violent shocks.
Cheryl has never been the right kind of country-club wife. She's always felt like an outsider, and now, in her mid-forties—facing the harsh realities of aging while her marriage disintegrates and her troubled stepson, Teddy, is kicked out of college—she feels cast adrift by the sparkling seaside community of Little Neck Cove, Connecticut. So when Teddy shows up at home just as a storm brewing off the coast threatens to destroy the precarious safe haven of the cove, she joins him in an epic downward spiral.
The Invaders, a searing follow-up to Karolina Waclawiak’s critically acclaimed debut novel, How to Get Into the Twin Palms, casts a harsh light on the glossy sheen of even the most “perfect” lives in America's exclusive beach communities. With sharp wit and dark humor, The Invaders exposes the lies and insecurities that run like faultlines through our culture, threatening to pitch bored housewives, pill-popping children, and suspicious neighbors headlong into the suburban abyss.
“The Invaders is a gut punch of a novel—a scathing look at privileged people trapped by their own choices, but unable to imagine an alternative to their misery. Karolina Waclawiak is a remarkable writer, able to channel the unflinching clarity of Richard Yates, the off-kilter tenderness of Cheever, and taut narrative energy of crime fiction in a voice that is all her own.”
– Tom Perrotta, author of, The Leftovers and Little Children
“Seamlessly blending literary and genre traditions, Karolina Waclawiak never fails to surprise, delight, and reveal secrets that lesser writers keep hidden. I love her work, and I'm already waiting for the next book.”
– Sara Gran, author of, Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead
“A blazing wonder of a novel . . . As whip-smart and cunning as it is poignant and mysterious, The Invaders demonstrates that Waclawiak’s masterful debut novel, How to Get into the Twin Palms, was just the beginning.”
– Megan Abbott, author of, Dare Me
“Karolina Waclawiak’s The Invaders is the stiffest of literary drinks—it’ll jolt your system, and make the world around you glow a little differently when you’re done with it. Witty, dark, and honest, this novel tells the hard—but hilarious—truths about aging in America, dysfunctional relationships, and suburban vices.”
– Jami Attenberg, author of, The Middlesteins
“The Invaders is as crisp as they come, hilarious and alarming in equal measure. This book is a time bomb in madras shorts, ready for golf, sex, and natural disasters.”
– Emma Straub, author of, The Vacationers and Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures
“A wonderfully fierce novel, from a brilliant and essential talent.”
– Laura van den Berg, author of, The Isle of Youth and Find Me
“A witty, vicious, and entirely moving portrait of privilege, alienation, and sexual invisibility set in a Connecticut beach community.”
– Kate Zambreno, author of, Green Girl
“The Invaders is an elegant, ominous book, a sharp, witty novel of manners of the most sinister kind. In Waclawiak’s expert hands, this novel will have you holding your breath and your heart until the very last word.”
– Roxane Gay, author of, Bad Feminist and An Untamed State
“How To Get Into the Twin Palms was a mini-masterpiece of atmosphere and mood; a new book is a cause for celebration.”
– Emily Gould, author of, Friendship
“…my favorite kind of beach read, more messy ambiguity than Mai Tais.”
– Anna Andersen, The Toast
"...ought to be sold with coconut oil and sunglasses--a perfect, and perfectly dark, beach read told with L.A.-noir style but set in tony country-club Connecticut."
– Vanity Fair
"With its spot-on characterizations, droll dialogue, and staccato pacing, Waclawiak's dark satire is a trenchant indictment of the country club set tempered by compassionately rendered portraits of two of its not entirely unwitting victims."
“As Cheryl, a trophy wife, and her entitled stepson, Teddy, follow parallel paths to self-destruction, the book draws out the disjunction between a lush, decorous setting and the inner corruption of its inhabitants.”