By the time Roger and Virginia Lindhal enroll their son in Mrs. Alt’s Los Padres Valley School in the mountains of Southern California, their marriage is already in deep trouble. Then the Lindhals meet Chic and Liz Bonner, whose two sons also board at Mrs. Alt’s school. The meeting is a catalyst for a complicated series of emotions and traumas, set against the backdrop of suburban Los Angeles in the early fifties. This novel’s buildup of emotional intensity and finely observed characterizations are a hallmark of Philip K. Dick’s work.
Filled with the details of everyday life and skillfully told from three points of view, Puttering About in a Small Land is powerful, eloquent, and gripping.