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This Bright River by Patrick Somerville

Two damaged thirtysomethings with mysterious back stories return to their Wisconsin home town to lick their wounds and subsequently run into each other at a local gallery opening. Flash back to their experience as two high school oddballs assigned to do a science project together. Uh huh, you can predict the ending to this one: awkwardness leads to happily ever after. But not so fast. This suspenseful story has twists and turns that you won’t expect and you won’t really know which narrator to trust, and which version of the past to believe, until the very end.

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

This book is about the effect a morbidly obese obsessive-compulsive eater has on her family.  It's true that matriarch Edie's non-stop consumption weighs heavily on her family, but so does her impending divorce from husband of 30-something years, Richard.  We get everyone's point of view. Pharmacist Richard who just wants to have sex again before he dies.

Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis

This is the story of a terrifying, yet compelling London hood and his nephew, who is trying to create a new life, free of his very heavy family baggage.  Amis creates fantastic dialogue for his characters and the language is brilliant.  Reader beware, however, this book shows glimpses of the seedier side of both the London underworld and complicated families.  Jump on board for quite the uproarious ride.  Che

A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers

In Eggers’ first novel in six years, we are taken to a fledgling Saudi Arabian city. Here Alan Clay, a middle-aged middle manager, is making what could be his last chance effort for financial and mental stability. Gone are the days of his salesmanship excellence and achievement, now he is divorced, broke, and trying to pay for his daughter’s education. We follow Clay as he tries to keep his Saudi deal together, and himself together.

The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones

Thinking this would be a light, fun, fluffy read, I brought this along on vacation. It was the perfect beach read, but it turned out to be much more than fluff. This fantastic novel changed gears each time I thought I had it figured out, and in the end I was left with a witty but deep-feeling novel about a loving, eccentric, slightly dysfunctional family. Like P. G. Wodehouse's more biting cousin, The Uninvited Guests is highly recommended.

Carry the One by Carol Anshaw

In the pre-dawn hours of a summer day, a carful of post-wedding revelers hits and kills a young girl on a dark country road.

We the Animals by Justin Torres

What is it like growing up the youngest of three brothers of a mixed race family in upstate New York?  At times it seems that it can be pretty dangerous.  Torres offers a short, quick stories that follow our narrator as he grows up in a family that teaches him to love, to fight and to survive.  Check Our Catalog

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman

What if your teenage son made a typical stupid teenage mistake--and the whole world found out about it? This compelling story of a modern American family shattering amid the fallout of a social media-driven sex scandal thoughtfully explores themes of identity, privacy, family, and loyalty.

Daughters-in-Law by Joanna Trollope

Another absorbing and insightful contemporary family story from Joanna Trollope, this one focusing on the sometimes fraught relationships between parents and their adult children.  When Rachel and Anthony's youngest son marries, the arrival of a third daughter-in-law into the extended family mix brings new complications and power struggles.  Trollope excels at switching viewpoints from one character to another and you will find yourself sympathizing and becoming exasperated in turns with Rachel and her sons and daughters-in-law.

A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvvette Edwards

Fourteen years ago, Jinx's mother was brutally murdered. Since then, Jinx, who feels responsible, has had a hard time maintaning relationships and being a mother to her young son. This book was included on the Man Booker 2011 Longlist. Check Our Catalog

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