Posts Tagged ‘dysfunctional family’

18th January
2011
written by Steph

Y’all, I have been waiting to talk about this book for soooo long. I think I first saw it posted on TLC tours sometime back in back in SEPTEMBER, so I’ve literally been sitting on this thing for months. Ok, fine, figuratively, since I haven’t in fact been perched on my galley copy of The Weird Sisters like a mother hen for three months, but it kind of feels like I have. I’ve been nursing a great secret, but now I can let it out: The Weird Sisters is a totally fab book and you must read it post haste. I was initially drawn to this book because of the Shakespearean connotation of the name (the weird sisters being the three witches in “Macbeth”). You know I love me the bard, so any book that alludes to the master of the English language is going to pique my interest. As I read the little blurb about the book, I realized the Shakespeare reference in the title was not mere coincidence but intentional, which thrilled me. Add to that the fact that book involves three sisters whose father is a professor of Shakespeare, and who all return home, beaten and bruised when disasters of various ilk strike, and I was sold. If this were a Cosmo quiz about books, my answer would say something to the effect of “If you chose mostly A’s: You are the kind of reader who loves books set in academia that are chocked full of literary references, and feature dysfunctional family drama to round things out.” If this also describes you, then The Weird Sisters is the book for you. (more…)
28th October
2010
written by Steph

Free at last!

If book reviews here have slowed down of late, you can attribute it to this beast of a book. Normally I can polish off a book in two or three days, but with Freedom: 12 days. Granted, life has been busy, so it’s not like I had tons of time to sit down and read, but still, this sucker is big and it takes a while to wade through its 575+ pages. Although this is the first Franzen I’m officially reviewing here on the site, it’s not the first time I’m mentioning the man. Whenever I read a book about dysfunctional families, I’m likely to mention how great I thought The Corrections was, such that I’m sure most of you are like, “ALL RIGHT! I get it! You love The Corrections and I should probably read it! Enough already!” So what I’m trying to say is that I’m no Franzen newbie, and I was interested to see how I’d respond to his follow-up to what is apparently one of my literary touchstones. I’d skimmed several reviews before picking up my copy, not absorbing enough to spoil my own reading experience, but gleaning enough to see that the book was rather polarizing: either people LOVED it more than The Corrections or people did not like it at all. (more…)
19th July
2010
written by Steph

Before I had the chance to pick up This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, I had read a good deal of reviews about the book that had stressed how darkly funny the book was. Several readers admitted to laughing out loud while reading this book about a family that comes together to sit shiva when their father (a militant atheist… or so they had believed) passes away. Obviously death and mourning aren’t the typical topics one writes about when aiming to tickle the funny bone, so needless to say, I was intrigued. After all, I would say I probably enjoy inappropriate, mordant humor more than most so if this book is going to appeal to anyone, I figured it would be me. When Judd Foxman’s father dies, it marks the first occasion his entire family has convened and spent time together in a very long time… and for very good reason. As they are sequestered together for a week to remember the late family patriarch, dysfunction is the name of the game and it becomes clear why family time is a commodity best engaged in limited quantities. Suddenly all the old rivalries and obsessions that have lain dormant for so long resurface and demand resolution. Through the brawls, tears, and rekindled romances, the Foxmans ultimately realize that no matter how hard you try to define yourself as something other than how your family has pigeonholed you, returning home always results in some degree of regression. (more…)