The Kids Are All Right Summary and Reviews

The Kids Are All Right

A Memoir

by Amanda, Liz, Dan & Diana Welch

The Kids Are All Right by Amanda, Liz, Dan & Diana Welch X
The Kids Are All Right by Amanda, Liz, Dan & Diana Welch
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2009
    352 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

"Perfect is boring."

Well, 1983 certainly wasn't boring for the Welch family. Somehow, between their handsome father's mysterious death, their glamorous soap-opera-star mother's cancer diagnosis, and a phalanx of lawyers intent on bankruptcy proceedings, the four Welch siblings managed to handle each new heartbreaking misfortune in the same way they dealt with the unexpected arrival of the forgotten-about Chilean exchange student–together.

All that changed with the death of their mother. While nineteen-year-old Amanda was legally on her own, the three younger siblings – Liz, sixteen; Dan, fourteen; and Diana, eight – were each dispatched to a different set of family friends. Quick-witted and sharp-tongued, Amanda headed for college in New York City and immersed herself in an '80s world of alternative music and drugs. Liz, living with the couple for whom she babysat, followed in Amanda's footsteps until high school graduation when she took a job in Norway as a nanny. Mischievous, rebellious Dan, bounced from guardian to boarding school and back again, getting deeper into trouble and drugs. And Diana, the red-haired baby of the family, was given a new life and identity and told to forget her past. But Diana's siblings refused to forget her – or let her go.

Told in the alternating voices of the four siblings, their poignant, harrowing story of un­breakable bonds unfolds with ferocious emotion. Despite the Welch children's wrenching loss and subsequent separation, they retained the resilience and humor that both their mother and father endowed them with – growing up as lost souls, taking disastrous turns along the way, but eventually coming out right side up. The kids are not only all right; they're back together.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Well crafted and beautifully written - not to mention tremendously engrossing and moving. I couldn't put it down, and came to love and respect every member of this singular family." - O, The Oprah Magazine

"This touching, funny memoir about their separate lives and eventual reunion is an ode to the strength of sibling bonds." - Cookie Magazine

"A brutally honest book that captures the journey of four people too young to face the challenges they nevertheless had to face." - Kirkus Reviews

"In a memoir rendered eerily dry and scattered by emotional distance, the four Welch children, orphaned in their youth in the mid-1980s, recount by turns their memories and impressions of that painful time." - Publishers Weekly

"In indelible voices, each Welch contradicts, embellishes or supports the others’ memories, creating a blisteringly funny, heart-scorching tale of remarkable kids shattered by tragedy and finally brought back together by love." - People Magazine

"Starting with the title’s pun, this unusual account will leave readers musing over memory’s slippery nature; the imperfect, enduring bonds of family; and the human heart’s remarkable resilience." - Booklist

"This is a tragic, and heroic story that precisely maps a decade, and reads like a spy thriller. The Welch kids are legendary!" - Sean Wilsey, author of Oh The Glory of it All

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