Close to Hugh takes an exuberantly existential look at youth and age, art and life, love and death over one week in the world of gallery-owner Hugh Argylle.
On Monday, a fall from a ladder leaves Hugh with a fractured vision of the pain—dying parents, shaky marriages, failure of every kind—suffered by those close to him. His friends are one missed ladder-rung from going under emotionally, physically, and financially.
Somebody’s got to fix them all. And it probably has to be Hugh.
Meanwhile, beneath the adult orbit, bright young lives are taking form: the sons and daughters of Hugh’s friends are about to graduate from high school and already floating away from the gravitational pull of their parents. As complicated bonds form and break in texts and ticks on multiplying media, the desires, terrors, and revelations of adolescence are mirrored in the second adolescence of the adults.
With insight and mastery, Endicott creates surprising parallel worlds. Her ear for the cadences and concerns of two generations gives us both sets of friends on the cusp of reinvention. And as always in Endicott’s multi-layered fiction, below the surface tragicomedy lies something profound: a rare and rich perspective on what it means to fall and rise and fall again—and what in the end we owe to those we love.