FAMILY AND OTHER CATASTROPHES by Alexandra Borowitz

FAMILY AND OTHER CATASTROPHES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A wedding weekend tests an eccentric family’s bonds.

Emily Glass, a woman in her late 20s with a handsome fiance and a whole lot of anxiety in tow, flies back to the family home in Westchester for her wedding. The youngest of three, she quickly finds herself mixed back up in the dysfunctional ways of her family. Her older sister, Lauren, a progressive so far to the left she may as well be in a different country, and her brother, Jason, a recently divorced dad aggressively putting himself back on the market, provide surprising comfort to the bride as the three face guilt trips from their psychologist mother and family secrets unraveling as the wedding week marches on. With a fast pace and constantly shifting point of view, the book adeptly weaves between the characters, making them all feel real and three-dimensional without losing track of the narrative. Beyond just the members of the Glass family, Emily’s fiance David’s family, including his Renaissance Faire–loving, fedora-wearing little brother and eternally bored teenage stepsister, and various members of the wedding party fill out a cast that showcases many different perspectives while not seeming overrun with characters. It’s brimming with humor and pop-culture references that will make older millennials smile but never seems too on-the-nose or cheekily self-aware. There are moments where the tone feels slightly off, and sometimes it punches down with its humor, especially when it comes to Lauren and her social justice ideals, but ultimately, it presents a sympathetic picture of a family with issues it doesn’t want to face and the ties that bind them together anyway.

Humor and heart mix in Borowitz’s debut novel, which will resonate with anyone who loves their family despite said family’s best efforts.

Pub Date: April 10th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7783-1755-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2018




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