Jean Copeland, an emotionally withdrawn wife and mother of two, has taken a secret lover--only to lose him in a moment of tragedy that leaves her reeling. Her husband, Gordon, is oblivious, distracted by the fear that he's losing his most prized asset: his memory. Daughter Priscilla (a pill since birth--don't get us started) is talking about clothes, or TV, or whatever, and hatching a plan to extend her maddening reach to all of America. Nine-year-old Otis is torn between his two greatest loves: crossword puzzles and his new girlfriend.
At the back of the house, grandfather Theodore is in the early throes of Parkinson's disease. (And he's fine with it--as long as they continue to let him walk the damn dog alone.) And Vivian, the family's ninety-eight-year-old matriarch, is a razor-sharp grande dame who suffers no fools...and still harbors secret dreams of her own.
With empathy, humor, and an unforgettable voice, Elizabeth Crane reveals what one family finds when everyone goes looking for meaning in all the wrong places.
This take on a dysfunctional family comes down on the side of quirky, with a wry examination of each character spinning wildly in their own orbit and occasionally banging into one another. Each member of the family is utterly self absorbed while completely lacking self awareness - husband/father Gordon with his annoying tendency to share knowledge on the mundane, wife/mother Jean and her various escapes,teenager Priscilla is a legend in her own mind and should be treated as such, and poor Otto is left to his own devices. Grandparents Theodore & Vivian provide much in the way of relief with his quiet determination and her feistiness. Many of the book blurbs mention its humor, although I found author Crane's gently unraveling of each character gives them a forlorn quality. An added twist is the first person plural omniscient narrator (which took me a healthy dose of google and wiki to figure out).
When I read books like this, with a funky family dynamic (The Unbelievers & The Family Fang come to mind) my reaction usually looks like this - Just Get It Together People! And they do, sort of, in a subtly sweet but still very true to their nature kind of way. This is not a typical summer read, but I still consider it refreshing with its wit and unique point of view.
For more visit TLC Book Tours or the author's website: http://www.elizabethcrane.com