The Gulf

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Marianne is a poet living in New York City, but her life holds little of the romantic cliché. She’s burned out from teaching, her writing has stalled, and she’s being evicted from her apartment. So when her ex-fiance, Eric, offers her a job, she’s not in a position to refuse. She’ll have a salary, a place to live, and time to write. The catch: she’ll be creating a low-residency writing program for Christian writers, in Florida. Marianne is an atheist, but Eric brushes off Marianne’s hesitation. When she arrives at the motel that will be their writing school, Marianne’s worst fears are confirmed–and then some. She discovers that the source of the school’s funding is a controversial group called God’s Word God’s World (GWGW), which has distasteful plans that have little to do with creative writing. Marianne finds herself aligned with who she views as the worst of humanity. When a hurricane hits, she faces an epic personal reckoning.

Marianne doesn’t hide her disdain for her Christian students and their earnest, terrible writing, but the novel gains depth and emotional punch when she finds she can’t sustain her derision. The writers she meets are kind and genuine, and it’s her fondness for the group–and her unwillingness to be manipulated by Eric and GWGW–that forces her to take the reins of her life. The Gulf is strange and funny, and Boggs brings together the odd subcultures of Florida and for-profit schools and Christian-focused marketing to show that community can flourish even in the eye of a political and religious storm.


Reviewed By:

Author Belle Boggs
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Graywolf Press
Publish Date 02-Apr-2019
ISBN 9781555978341
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category Books About Books
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