In this absorbing and sharply observed novel, Porter Shreve offers rare insight into the anxiety that goes hand in hand with idealism. His thirteen-year-old narrator is a worried yet wonderful guide through this story of an imperfect family and an imperfect nation struggling to become their better selves.
—Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, author of Madeline is Sleeping and Ms. Hempel Chronicles
Porter Shreve does what few writers can-- he casts a spell, bringing you immediately and completely into a world you won't soon want to leave. This is a humane, tender and intimate story about what it means to be a family, to be idealistic in an all too pragmatic world.
-- Joe McGinnis Jr., author of The Delivery Man
WHEN THE WHITE HOUSE WAS OURS is as good as it gets. Porter Shreve tells the story of the Truitts, a most unusual displaced family who come to Washington, DC from the Midwest to start an alternative school in a white house. They arrive about the same time Jimmy Carter, the man from Plains, comes to another White House with a credo about trust. The end result is a tale of sheer delight—beautifully told in perfect pitch.
--Jim Lehrer, Host of “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and author of Eureka and The Last Debate
Porter Shreve has always had a keen feel for a story and an instinct for what is interesting in the world. He is a wonderful and accomplished young writer.—Lorrie Moore, author of Birds of America
[Porter Shreve's] narrative nicely counterpoints Daniel’s coming-of-age story with the bewildering, and even endearing, goofiness of this memorable time in his—and the country’s—growing up.
[Shreve] tells smart, inventive, sociologically intriguing stories, and his latest is a fun-to-read novel with great relevance and charm . . . The coming-of-age element is irresistible, as is the impossible dream of an anything-goes school, and what a wild and crazy extended family Shreve has created in the age of free love and Watergate.
The political backdrop is perfectly played, as is the bittersweet nostalgia that makes the book and its freewheeling gang irresistible.