1970s rust-belt America. The era of civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights, as well as the birth of the environmental movement. Twins Jake and Wren are raised in the white-flight suburb of Laurentine, not far from an industrial city ironically named the Forest City. The twin's parents, Harry and Florrie, do their best to keep their offspring on the straight and narrow, according to principles common today in MAGA America, before it got the name. But the two are not good at coloring inside the lines. Wren falls in love with an African-American youth named Donald, and Jake falls in love first with Romeo and then Peacoat--with traumatic results. Their story is told by the family mutt, Molly, whose outsider status offers the reader a unique view on human culture.
"Deftly written, original, eloquent, compelling, and all the more impressive when considering that The Lede to Our Undoing . . . was his debut as a novelist and will have a special and particular appeal to readers with an interest in LGBTQ and social issue fiction. Mengay's narrative driven storytelling style rises to a level of literary excellence that is unreservedly recommended for both personal reading lists and community/academic library General Fiction collections. The Lede to Our Undoing is one of those novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book has been finished and set back upon the shelf." -- Midwest Review of Books