‘The East End’ Navigates Divide Between Rich and Poor — With a Dose of Suspense

"The East End" by Jason Allen.

Jason Allen grew up in a working-class home in the Hamptons, where he took on a variety of blue-collar jobs for wealthy estate owners — the fodder for his debut novel, “The East End,” which hit bookshelves earlier this month.

Underscoring the local class divide, Allen set his suspenseful novel in East Hampton during Memorial Day weekend, when the fallout of a deadly accident overshadows the festivities and upends three lives in the process. Here, wealthy elites and hard-working locals coexist uneasily — and, occasionally, forge connections that bridge the divide.

Foregrounding pervasive anxieties over the ever-widening chasm between rich and poor in the United States, “The East End” mines emotional and psychological terrain, while introducing “a major new talent in contemporary fiction,” according to a press release.

Allen “reports from the inside,” it said, “infusing this sharply observed story with bone-deep authenticity and penetrating insight. As Allen ensnares his indelible characters in a tangled web of secrets, obsessions and self-deceptions, he weaves a suspenseful tale about class, power, entitlement and the cost of conscience.”

On Sunday, May 19, the Atlanta-based author will pay BookHampton a visit, starting at 5 p.m. at the East Hampton store, located at 41 Main Street. For more information, visit bookhampton.com.