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family drama

Review: ‘The Family Next Door’ Exposes The Complexities of Life Through Family Drama

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Pleasant Court is a family neighborhood where everyone is cordial and happy… but are they really? Author Sally Hepworth takes us behind closed doors and skillfully reveals secrets, lies, hidden agendas and family drama in The Family Next Door. Some of the salacious secrets involve a baby left in a park, a mother’s lie about her pregnancy, a husband with a secret child and a wife engaged in an adulterous affair. Despite these insurmountable odds, there is still friendship, love, compassion and support to round it out just as the complexities of life are exposed. After suffering from postpartum depression, Essie and Ben have relied heavily on Barbara, Essie’s mother, to help out with their two daughters. Ange’s husband Lucas…

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History and Music Play in Perfect Harmony in ‘Do Not Say We Have Nothing’

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Rarely does a book come along that is as masterfully written as Do Not Say We Have Nothing. From critically-acclaimed author Madeleine Thien, the novel was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, and was awarded the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award, among many others. Living in Vancouver, Marie and her mother invite into their home Ai-Ming, a Chinese refugee fleeing the crackdown in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square Protests in 1989. The novel beautifully splinters apart, delving into different subplots, but all centered around Marie finding and tracing her family history, and the connection between her father Kai, a talented pianist, and Ai-Ming’s father Sparrow, a brilliant composer, as well as a violin prodigy. Do Not Say…

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Review: Captivated by the Harrowing and Heartfelt ‘Shelter in Place’

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Have you ever felt like a giant black bird is clawing at your heart, or like your body is completely immobilized by black tar flowing through your veins? It may be hard to imagine what that really feels like, but for the protagonist of Alexander Maksik’s latest novel, Shelter in Place (Europa Editions, September 13, 2016) it’s a state of being that’s nearly inescapable. Those two images are the main descriptors Maksik uses to characterize his narrator Joe’s Bipolar symptoms, that are further complicated by the hectic story of Joe’s life, which Maksik traces from the early ’90s to the present day in a nonlinear design. Set in a few different cities in the Pacific Northwest, the meat of the story…

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Randy Susan Meyers talks about Accidents of Marriage, a gut-punching family drama

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In her third novel, Accidents of Marriage (Atria Books, 2015), Randy Susan Meyers weaves a compelling tale of domestic abuse and traumatic brain injury as told through the very different perspectives of three family members—two parents and their teenage daughter. Meyers stands at the center of marital distress, surveys the scene, assesses the damage, and recounts it with unflinching honesty and clarity. Meyers is also the author of two previously bestselling novels, The Comfort of Lies (2014) and The Murderer’s Daughters (2011). Recently, BookTrib caught up with the author of Accidents of Marriage, a gut-punching family drama that tackles a slew of complicated issues. BOOKTRIB: One of the many strengths of Accidents of Marriage is your ability to successfully create multiple…

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