Friday, September 24, 2010

89. Family History by Dani Shapiro

I was recommended to read Family History from Amazon. It sounded like a good read, so I got it from the library. It was a good read, and a quick one. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
From the prodigiously gifted author of the acclaimed memoir Slow Motion, a stunning and brutally honest novel about one family’s harrowing recovery from devastation. Rachel Jensen is perfectly happy: in love with her husband, devoted to their daughter Kate, gratified by her work restoring art. And finally, she’s pregnant again. But as Rachel discovers, perfection can unravel in an instant. The summer she is thirteen, Kate returns from camp sullen, angry, and withdrawn. Everyone assures Rachel it’s typical adolescent angst. But then Kate has a terrifying accident with her infant brother, and the ensuing guilt brings forth a dreadful lie—one that ruptures their family, perhaps irrevocably. Family History is a mesmerizing journey through the mysteries of adolescent pain and family crisis.

This is a scary book, but not because there was a crazed serial killer running around loose. I believe this book would scare any parent who can watch their child fall apart mentally and cause chaos to herself and those around her. The story starts out in the present day and is told what happens through flashbacks. While the ending was a bit too open-ended for me, I still enjoyed it. All of the characters are realistic and easy to relate to. Ms. Shapiro is an author I will be looking out for in the future.

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