Going Under


Going Under is the haunting tale of a mother’s journey to Bedlam, as she struggles with alcoholism and madness, and the ramifications for her children when she fails to make it back.

On the surface, the Tillotsons seem to be going places: handsome Don with his fast-track career, beautiful Jerri who could be a movie star, and their two children, Jeff and Meena. But Don’s philandering and Jerri’s drinking and mental instability tear the family apart. Jeff digs a tunnel in a lot behind their Oregon house with his neighborhood pals–an underground shelter from the turmoil above ground–never imagining it will become his mother’s grave. Meena turns into a human spider, creeping about the house, spying on her dysfunctional family. Set in the 1960s and told from the children’s and their Aunt Debbie’s point of view, Going Under is a poignant and emotionally powerful tale about the darker side of the human spirit and the consequences for those least prepared to understand it.

“Luvaas tells a terrible but absorbing story and tells it movingly. I hope this book finds the wide readership it deserves.”  —Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize winning Author of The Last Picture Show & Lonesome Dove

“A mother drowning in alcohol drags her whole family down in William Luvaas’s powerful novel.”  —New York Times Book Review

“A surreal and frightening air prevails as guilt, aggression and madness escalate in this powerful evocation of family members coming to grips with crimes against one another.”  —Publishers Weekly

“Going Under is told with power and authority as it explores a family’s collapse into self-destruction and abuse. Luvaas’s great power as a storyteller brings the reader up out of these sorrows and into a sense of redemption that is triumphant and true.” —Frederick Busch, author of Sometimes I Live in the Country and Long Way From Home

“Reading Going Under is like watching a train wreck happen before your eyes. It’s horrify­ing, powerful stuff you can’t tear your eyes away from.” —Susan L. Rife, Wichita Eagle

“I found Going Under to be powerful, moving, frequently funny, and ultimately positive.  Luvaas portrays the members of a dysfunctional family with compassion and insight… Those who admired Wally Lamb’s bestselling novel She’s Come Undone will find Going Under to be a richer, deeper, and more insightful study of the psychological problems that can damage essentially good people.”  —Stephen Minot, author of Three Genres: The Writing of Poetry, Fiction, and Dra­ma and Surviving The Flood.

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