"In Trompe l'Oeil Nancy Reisman has created something amazing and mysterious: a portrait of a family that is also a portrait of how that family lives in the aftermath of grief. With wonderful skill and intelligence she shows us the Murphys over more than two decades as both parents and children finally step into their own lives. Their journey, the portraits of their journey, are deepened by Reisman's vivid sense of place and framed by her exquisite descriptions of paintings. This is a beautiful and deeply satisfying novel."
—Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
During a vacation in Rome, the Murphy family experiences a life-altering tragedy. In the immediate aftermath, James, Nora, and their children find solace in their Massachusetts coast home, but as the years pass the weight of the loss disintegrates the increasingly fragile marriage and leaves its mark on each family member. Trompe l’Oeil seamlessly alternates among several characters’ points of view, capturing the details of their daily lives as well as their longing for connection and fear of abandonment. Through the turbulence of marriage, the challenges of parenthood, job upheavals, and calamities large and small, Trompe l’Oeil examines family legacies, the ways those legacies persist, and the ways they might be transcended. Nancy Reisman is a master of psychological acuity, creating characters who are wholly unique and yet express our own longings and anxieties. Trompe l’Oeil haunts not only with its story but also with the beauty of its insight into hopes, desires, and fears.