A long-estranged family discovers that blood is thicker than water in this hilarious and moving domestic comedy.
It's been a couple of decades since Nick cast off his impossible, contentious, embarrassingly working-class parents: gruff, stingy, explosive Ken and June, who seemed to revert to a primal state of nature after a divorce that both of them managed to blame on Nick. Enjoying the life of the country gentleman that he's made for himself with impeccably turned-out Astrid and her teenage daughter, Laura, Nick has kept only the slenderest family connection to his brother, Dave, who's stuck with the role of ambassador in a family that's long settled into cold war.
But then Ken decides that the year of his death has arrived, and thus kicks off an ill-conceived quest to reunite his family before he meets his fate. Bringing to this tinderbox just the spark it needs, Louise Dean sends up the whole clan, each of them fatally flawed yet saved by hidden grace, and illuminates with her incomparable acuity their clashes of generation, gender, class, and temperament, in a riotous and compassionate conflagration.
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"Starred Review. Dean, with her superb ear for language and class nuance, gives readers the essence of contemporary British life in this touching and funny family portrait." - Publishers Weekly
"Dean mercilessly sends up the working class to hilarious effect even as she compassionately reveals, in fresh and vivid language, the primal desire to return home." - Booklist
"This novel's pitch perfect dialog, sparkling wit, and sharp observations of life, love and mortality make it a winner." - Library Journal
"The rural working-class British dialect may be difficult for American readers to comprehend, but the tartly sweet rewards are worth the challenge." - Kirkus
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Louise Dean is the author of novels and short stories published in the UK and internationally, including Becoming Strangers, This Human Season, The Idea of Love, and The Old Romantic Her first book, the award-winning Becoming Strangers was voted one of the top 5 fiction books of 2004 by The Observer. Louise Dean was born in Hastings and grew up in Kent going to Cranbrook School and Cambridge University where she read History. After working in marketing for Unilever she went into advertising in London, then Hong Kong, and New York. She is mother to three children and lives in Kent.
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