In The Big City
A Novel by Doug Ingold
In the Big City" has what it takes to be a good and interesting book … It is definitely worth reading for those who enjoy a good plot and story line without the need for a great deal of violence." — Lisa Mathews, Daily Sun
In the Big City is a novel about a family under stress, one in which the traditional marriage roles have been reversed. The Winters — Jason, Anne and their two year-old daughter Kim — move from a small town to Chicago so Anne can begin her career with a prestigious law firm. Anne is soon navigating the fast lanes of corporate law but Jason remains locked in their apartment doing child care, smoking marijuana and getting fat. As a "house husband" Jason experiences many of the things that "house wives" have traditionally experienced: a loss of self-esteem, a sense of stagnation, a lack of accomplishment.
Jason and Anne try to support each other and both want the marriage to succeed. This sometimes funny, sometimes moving novel is about their attempt to survive this dramatic change with their marriage intact.
Jason and Anne Meet. An excerpt from In the Big City
We had met five years before in a university town deep in Southern Illinois. Carbondale has a railroad, a Union general to brag about, and a southern past it would rather forget. It was April when we met; well into spring. In southern Illinois, spring has a luxury and a length not found farther north. On campus and in the neighborhoods that Friday afternoon, there were dogwoods, lilacs blooming in door yards, tulip trees covered with shameless flowers. Along Illinois Avenue, where I had my leather shop, the doors of the bars stood open and the music poured out, raucous and loud, a different tune coming from each bar. Cars passed up and down with fraternity boys yelling at one another. The sidewalks were crowded with students, each with his or her private anticipation. A day rich with with expectations, with hormones and fresh pollen.
She entered the shop alone and began to browse among the merchandise while I pretended to work at my bench. Five-five, I guessed, dark-haired, small-boned, blue-eyed. She was wearing a baggy blue T-shirt and white shorts, and licking a strawberry ice cream cone. The end of an easel protruded from her knapsack. I watched slyly as her hand slipped over embossing I had done, as her fingers traced the lip of a handbag that I had shaped and then stained.
She was just another customer, one of thousands who had stood on the other side of the display case with its row of macho buckles, its somewhat dusty collection of feather and bead. And yet I found myself glancing repeatedly toward the street, awaiting the golden god who would surely come to claim her, midriff exposed, flipping a Frisbee. He never showed and she bought a pair of sandals for her father.
"In The Big City" is a poignant and finely crafted work that deals with the inner and outer journeys of one American family in the tumult of Chicago."
— Kathy Epling, The Humboldt Beacon
About the Author
Doug Ingold was born and educated in Illinois and for a number of years practiced law there. He presently lives and writes in a remote area of Nothern California.