Separated by a decade and 200 points on their SAT scores, Jack
and Connor Reed have a life in the Cleveland suburbs held
together by spit and Chinese takeout. With his self-absorbed,
over-the-hill parents dead by his twenty-fifth birthday, Jack
has abandoned his own plans and returned to his parents house
where he works marathon hours at his late fathers law firm,
beds young paralegals, and throws money and advice at his
teenage brother. Connor meanwhile wants nothing more than to
leave the Midwest, start a family early, and do everything the
way his parents didnt. But over the years, through the car
crashes and bad break-ups, the illnesses and illicit affairs,
both realize that while circumstances are sometimes beyond
control, there are always choices to be made.
Family and Other Accidents tells the story of these brothers from their viewpoints as well as from those of their girlfriends, wives, and children. It is a story of what it means to be a family, to love unconditionally in the face of confusion, anger, and regret. Shari Goldhagens debut is a finely nuanced, universally resonant portrait of the ties, however strange or awkward, that bind families together through the decades.
stealing condoms from joe jr.'s room
One hundred and ninety-eight hours before Jenny Greenspan's
birth control pills should kick in, Connor is in juvenile
traffic court explaining how he followed a pickup truck through
a yellow light and slammed into the side of a minivan.
"It was raining and hard to see." He tries to sound apologetic, the way his brother suggested on the ride over. Really he just wants court to be over so he can use the bathroom; he's had a weird stomachache since Jenny told him about the pill last night. "I assumed it was okay, because the truck ahead of me made it through. I was only following."
"Your Honor, the conditions were treacherous." Next to him Jack pipes in -self--assured and authoritative. "If you look at the accident report, the officer even made note of it."
Bored and gray-bearded, the ...
There's something slightly addictive about this debut novel - something that kept me reading even though not much really happens. it even kept me reading past the teenage sex scene in the first chapter ... Goldhagen describes the family bonds so vividly that it's impossible not to be drawn into her characters' lives. I bet there's many a reader who's finished this novel with a tear in the eye, and picked up the phone to make a long-overdue call to a sibling!
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (232 words).
Shari Goldhagen is a native Ohioan who holds a lot of writing degrees from Big Ten Schools in the Midwest: A journalism degree from Northwestern and an MFA from Ohio State. She currently lives in New York City where she teaches fiction and works as a freelance writer.
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