FAMILY AFFAIR by Caprice Crane

FAMILY AFFAIR

KIRKUS REVIEW

Coming-of-age comedy meets Gen Y love story in this tale of a rough patch in a young marriage, made worse by the wife’s extremely close connection to his family.

Together since high school, pretty Layla and hunky Brett Foster have what many would consider an enviable life. She’s a cheerful fixture at all his football games (he coaches a winning college team) and loves his close-knit family as if it were her own. In many ways it is. When Layla’s mother passed away during her teens, Brett’s family took her in, giving her the support her absentee dad wasn’t capable of. She plays poker with Brett’s dad Bill; offers dating advice to his socially awkward bother Scott; and has a pet photography business with his acerbic lesbian sister Trish. But on the cusp of turning 30, Brett starts to see Layla’s tightness with his clan as a hindrance rather than an asset; he feels left out, not to mention confused by a wife who acts kind of like a sister. In a turn of events that shocks everyone, he asks for a divorce and moves out. Stunned, devastated and possibly in denial, Layla turns to the Fosters for support, in effect pitting Brett’s own family against him. What follows is a no-holds-barred game of one-upsmanship between the estranged couple, including a “custody agreement” giving her alternative weekends with the Fosters. Brett starts dating an attractive new colleague and tracks down Layla’s long-lost dad, a failed rock star she barely remembers. Crane (Forget About It, 2007, etc.) gamely depicts the real-life pitfalls of a committed relationship. Immature behavior on both sides leads to some serious soul-searching, including Layla’s realization that she might be just a tad too cozy with her in-laws.

Has some biting moments, but Brett and Layla’s often silly problems don’t always make for compelling conflict.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-553-38623-3
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2009




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