Everybody's Son: Book summary and reviews of Everybody's Son by Thrity Umrigar

Everybody's Son

by Thrity Umrigar

Everybody's Son by Thrity Umrigar X
Everybody's Son by Thrity Umrigar
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  • Published Jun 2017
    352 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

The bestselling, critically acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The World We Found deftly explores issues of race, class, privilege, and power and asks us to consider uncomfortable moral questions in this probing, ambitious, emotionally wrenching novel of two families - one black, one white.

During a terrible heat wave in 1991 - the worst in a decade - ten-year-old Anton has been locked in an apartment in the projects, alone, for seven days, without air conditioning or a fan. With no electricity, the refrigerator and lights do not work. Hot, hungry, and desperate, Anton shatters a window and climbs out. Cutting his leg on the broken glass, he is covered in blood when the police find him.

Juanita, his mother, is discovered in a crack house less than three blocks away, nearly unconscious and half-naked. When she comes to, she repeatedly asks for her baby boy. She never meant to leave Anton - she went out for a quick hit and was headed right back, until her drug dealer raped her and kept her high. Though the bond between mother and son is extremely strong, Anton is placed with child services while Juanita goes to jail.

The Harvard-educated son of a US senator, Judge David Coleman is a scion of northeastern white privilege. Desperate to have a child in the house again after the tragic death of his teenage son, David uses his power and connections to keep his new foster son, Anton, with him and his wife, Delores- actions that will have devastating consequences in the years to come.

Following in his adopted family's footsteps, Anton, too, rises within the establishment. But when he discovers the truth about his life, his birth mother, and his adopted parents, this man of the law must come to terms with the moral complexities of crimes committed by the people he loves most.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Jarring and beautiful, Umrigar's novel examines complex social issues with brutal honesty, but also creates accessible characters with relatable motives, reminding us of the deep-seated racism that exists even in the places we don't think to look." - Publishers Weekly

"A potent examination of race and privilege." - Booklist

"While the depiction of Anton's political rise during the last half of the book feels somewhat generic, his personal journey is a moving one that many fiction readers can appreciate." - Library Journal

"This tale of identity and privilege never shakes off its sense of running a mechanical course." - Kirkus

"Everybody's Son probes directly into the tender spots of race and privilege in America…With assured prose and deep insight into the human heart, Umrigar explores the moral gray zone of what parents, no matter their race, will do for love." - Celeste Ng

"…[A] powerful exploration of the crucible of privilege and the raw, hard consequence of broken trust…[A] taut, exquisitely moving love story about desire... forgiveness, and the transcendent bond between a parent and child. Umrigar is a gifted storyteller, and her fiction has a revelatory force on the page." - Dawn Tripp

"Umrigar hits us in three places at once: the head, the heart... the gut. With clarity of vision, she takes on the story of a neglected black boy…[Anton] is a character for our times as we… try and build bridges across the racial and economic canyons that divide us." - David Abrams

This information about Everybody's Son was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Thrity Umrigar Author Biography

Thrity Umrigar is the bestselling author of eight novels, including The Space Between Us, which was a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, as well as a memoir and three picture books. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in more than fifteen countries. She is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award and a Seth Rosenberg Award and is Distinguished Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. A former prize-winning journalist, she has contributed to the  Boston Globe , the Washington Post, the New York Times and Huffington Post.

Author Interview
Link to Thrity Umrigar's Website

Name Pronunciation
Thrity Umrigar: thri-tee oomrigar

Other books by Thrity Umrigar at BookBrowse
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