Olive Kitteridge meets The Mars Room in this powerfully unsentimental portrait of ten lives behind the concrete walls of a New Hampshire jail.
“HERE is a voice to listen to! Moloney’s voice is as true as a voice can be. Concise, with the right details rendered perfectly, these sentences come to the reader with marvelous straight forwardness, clean as a bone.” —Elizabeth Strout
David Moloney’s Barker House follows the story of ten unforgettable New Hampshire correctional officers. Isolated in separate regions of the jail, veteran guards get by on what they consider survival strategies—sadistic power-mongering, obsessive surveillance, and private addictions—while two rookies, including Barker’s only female officer, develop their own tactics for facing “the system.”Tracking their subtly intertwined lives, Barker House reveals the world of the jailers over the course of one year on the job, coming to a head when the unexpected death of one in their ranks brings them together.
Timely and universal, masterfully crafted, this deeply satisfying debut adds a new layer to discussions of America’s criminal justice system, and marks the arrival of an important new literary voice.