Schroder: A Novel is a 2013 novel by Amity Gaige. The plot focuses on Eric Schroder, an East German immigrant who creates a fictional identity (Eric Kennedy) as a young child when he applies to a summer camp. He continues to go by this name (as well as using a fictional back story) for several years. Along the way he marries a woman named Laura and has a child. His marriage eventually disintegrates and he struggles to maintain his life as well as his relationship with his six-year-old daughter, Meadow. During a parental visit, he flees home and takes her with him on a road trip through New England.
Schroder provides examples of:
- Adult Fear: The plot features several including divorce, depression, losing custody of your children and other issues. Meadow having a life-threatening asthma attack is also a major one.
- Bilingual Bonus: The novel features repeated uses of the German language (mostly because it is Erics first language) A few of the lines are left totally untranslated.
- Dead All Along: Eric takes Meadow to meet his father. She has an asthma attack before it can happen and later finds out that his father has been dead for a couple years.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Eric engages in this at multiple points after he separates from Laura.
- Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: At one point Meadow tells her father, Eric, that she wants to marry him when she grows up.
- Framing Device: The story is gradually revealed to be a letter that Eric is writing to his wife, Laura.
- From the Mouths of Babes: Meadow occasionally says profound things and has a surprisingly large vocabulary for a six-year-old. The fact that it is pulled off at least somewhat believably can be partially attributed to the fact that some of the dialogue was based off of things that the author's son actually said.
- Madness Mantra: I let you down. I let you down. I let you down .
- Painting the Medium: At one point in the book the phrase I let you down is repeated for three whole pages.
- Parents as People: Played straight with Eric and Laura. Both try their best to take care of Meadow, but are both shown to have their own problems. Eric's relationship with Meadow is shown to be loving and well meaning despite the fact it is dysfunctional.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Eric is prone to using complex and several syllable words. It even rubs off on his daughter, Meadow. This is later deconstructed when Laura becomes frustrated with this habit, telling him that it makes him sound extremely aloof and self-important.
- Sex for Solace: This is a major motivation for Eric sleeping with April.
- Spiritual Successor: The novel has been often compared to being in the style of Lolita (sans the pedophilia).
- Unreliable Narrator: A downplayed example. The entire story is recounted to the audience by the protagonist after the fact so the reader could easily question whether he is being entirely honest about what happened.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The writer was inspired by a similar incident which involved a man faking his identity and later kidnapping his daughter. The similarity between the two stories ends there.