I Couldn’t Love You More
by Jillian Medoff |
REVIEWED BY LISA KAY GREISSINGER
Families-even the best ones-are complicated. In her dazzling third novel, Medoff (Hunger Point) explores the myriad ways in which they both sustain and hinder us. Eliot Harmon is a business writer living in suburban Atlanta with her partner Grant, their daughter Hailey and his two girls from a previous marriage. Both parents work long hours in demanding jobs, yet it is Eliot who, along with handling the daily minutiae, helps the older girls cope with their artistic, irresponsible mother. Then Eliot’s first (and only) college love shows up, and she begins to disengage in ways that ultimately call into question her fitness as a mother to Hailey and Grant’s daughters. Hilarious and heart-wrenching, I Couldn’t Love You More points up how our half-conscious choices often have long-lasting repercussions and how, when it comes to love among family members, “there is no even-steven. There are only acts of grace, large and small, through which we reveal who we are.”
by Camilla Läckberg |
REVIEWED BY RICHARD EISENBERG
Something’s rotten in Fjallbacka, Sweden: Seven-year-old Sara Klinga’s drowning turns out to be a murder, and mysterious woes soon befall other children. An eerie subplot about a local stonecutter’s family secrets provides clues in this dark novel of revenge, estrangement and loveless marriages. It will keep you guessing.
I Am Forbidden
by Anouk Markovits |
REVIEWED BY ANNE LESLIE
After surviving World War II, friends Atara and Mila, born into Europe’s fundamentalist Satmar sect of Hasidic Jews, end up in New York City, where they seek solace in very different worlds. Atara, “shaping a new self,” breaks free of the ultra-Orthodox community; Mila embraces it. Yet their devotion to each other transcends disagreements and touches four generations. Author Markovits, who left her own Satmar family at 19, has written a captivating tale.
Dan Gets a Minivan
by Dan Zevin |
REVIEWED BY ANDREW ABRAHAMS
A humor writer and frazzled dad, Zevin uses his family as fodder in this funny take on Brooklyn fatherhood. He used to be semi-hip, now he’s a blogger for OldMan.com who once greeted the day “wearing my Content Provider’s uniform-pajamas stained with infant Mylanta.” With riffs on everything from date nights with his wife (“The goal is stay awake”) to shopping at Costco with his father (“It’s hard to feel like a man when you’re in your 40s and your dad is still buying you paper towels”), Zevin is one hilarious house-husband-like Seinfeld for the stay-at-home-dad set. Raise a sippy cup and cheer him on.