Tag: family relationships

Review: The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah

This book about a Palestinian family in Chicago, Illinois begins with a school shooting.  Afaf, the principal of a school for Muslim girls, is praying when the gunman opens fire.  Then the book goes back to Afaf’s childhood.  Afaf is raised in Chicago in the 1970s with her not very religious parents, her older sister,…

Review: The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

I enjoyed and appreciated this character-driven family drama by Claire Lombardo.  I read it for my book club, which didn’t end up happening last month, and that was actually good because I never would have finished in time.  It’s a long one — but for those who like complicated family dramas that cover many years,…

Review: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

This was only my second read by Patchett, after the excellent Commonwealth, and I was struck again by Patchett’s thoughtful development of characters and understanding of family dynamics.  This is a story that covers decades in the lives of a single family in Pennsylvania, from about the 50s to today, told through the eyes of…

Review: A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

This is my favorite book of the year so far.  It was everything I like in a book – really character-driven, about complex family relationships. It’s about a family where the parents are immigrants to the U.S. and they struggle to raise their children in a culture that is sometimes foreign to them.  Their children…

Review: Tiny Shoes Dancing and Other Stories by Audrey Kalman

This book of short stories by Audrey Kalman really resonated with me.  The stories are different but deal with common issues, most related to marriage and family.  Divorce was a frequent story element, and it was really interesting to see divorce explored from a number of different perspectives.  Kalman looks at how family turmoil affects…

Review of Happiness by Aminatta Forna

I knew nothing about this author or novel but, true to its title, it was a happy surprise.  This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking story of two adults who meet in London.  Attila is a trauma expert from Ghana who arrives in London for a conference and to check up on a niece who hasn’t been heard…

Review of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

I loved this book by Karen Joy Fowler, and found myself thinking about it quite a bit after finishing it.  While the story itself is an unusual one, the themes – family, psychology, memory, and our relationship with animals – are common ones that touch us every day.   The main character and narrator is…

Review of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I was happily surprised to find this second book by Celeste Ng every bit as good as her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You.  There are two key similarities between these two books, although the books are quite different.  The first is conceptual.  Ng takes a close look at a family that, on the…

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