Alexandra Borowitz is on the blog today with her debut offering, a contemporary satire about the ties of family and their increased dysfunction in the midst of a wedding. Please read on for my review of
Family and Other Catastrophes
Sharp, funny and perfectly told as long as it’s not your family in the crosshairs – Borowitz manages to craft a story that has readers unable to turn away, even as the dysfunction can reach head-shaking levels. This is Emily’s story in the lead up to her wedding: told in time with each day before the wedding being a unique series of moments and interactions.
Understand that Emily is more than a touch neurotic and a worrier – and this is only exacerbated by the outrageous and often inappropriate actions of her family members. Her mother and siblings are probably most responsible for her “everything must go perfectly” attitude, and her penchant for checking, double-checking and obsession with events. Raised by Myra – she is, of herself, a story. Myra is a psychologist, prone to diagnosing (wrongly) and gaslighting her children for effect – the effect being that occasionally she often has new input for her diagnosis. Emily’s sister Lauren is the uber-Feminist that you don’t want to meet: jumping on the next hot social media trend like Boudicca versus the Romans. Prone to horrifyingly hilarious (and wholly bereft of self-knowledge) pronouncements, she’s busily inserting herself with regularity to great effect. Emily’s brother is horribly socially inept with his odd comments and a tendency to speak (and behave) as if he were a medieval jester without the benefit of the awareness that comes from actual interactions. His flirting is painful, if hilarious for anyone not in the crosshairs, and while his comments are strange, in some ways they are often very apt and fit the situation, after you’ve had time to digest.
What Borowitz has done is trotted the Glass family out onto the front porch for all to revel in their craziness – a quirky, clever series of reveals as the wedding nears, the love best at a distance feelings that Emily has for her family is clear – and surely every reader can find a correlation to someone in their own family, if not as extreme. It’s rare that I find a title that screams to my love of Monty Python-esque satire and humor – dancing the line between horrifyingly dark and pure fun – and this ticked all of those boxes. Grab a copy, plan on this before the next big family gathering (or during – I’m not going to judge) and enjoy.
Title: Family and Other Catastrophes
Author: Alexandra Borowitz
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Satire
Published by: Harlequin MIRA
Published on: 10 April, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 9 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
A delightfully quirky debut about family bonds and the chaos that ensues when nature and lack of nurture collide.
Emily Glass knows she’s neurotic. But she’s got it under control. Sort of. She dons compression socks when she flies (because, you know, deep vein thrombosis) and responds to people routinely overestimating her age with more Lifespin classes and less gluten. Thankfully, she also has David, the wonderful man she’ll soon call husband—assuming they can survive wedding week with her wildly dysfunctional family.
Emily’s therapist mother, Marla, who’s been diagnosing her children since they were in diapers, sees their homecoming as the perfect opportunity for long-overdue family therapy sessions. Less enthused are Emily and her two siblings: ardently feminist older sister Lauren, who doesn’t think the wedding party should have defined gender roles, and recently divorced brother Jason, whose overzealous return to singlehood is only tempered by his puzzling friendship with David’s Renaissance Faire—enthusiast brother.
As the week comes to a tumultuous head, Emily wants nothing more than to get married and get as far away from her crazy relatives as possible. But that’s easier said than done when Marla’s meddling breathes new life into old secrets. After all, the ties that bind family together may bend, but they aren’t so easily broken.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: