by Lee Thomas
In her latest novel, The Believers, Zoë Heller once again proves herself a master of the unsettling. If conflict is the seed of narrative, then Heller’s storytelling is a Black Forest of strife. Aging radicals Joel and Audrey Litvinoff live in Greenwich Village, a perch from which they still hold sway over their three adult offspring. The Litvinoffs are a messy, complicated family who face a crisis when Joel, the patriarch, suffers a stroke in the middle of a courtroom–while defending a man accused of a terrorist plot; his stroke uncovers the family’s dissatisfactions.