More in domestic fiction

A “sharply funny and sobering . . . portrait of a family in financial free fall” from the New York Times–bestselling author of Young Jane Young (People).
 
With The Hole We’re In—a bold, timeless, yet all too timely novel about a troubled American family navigating an even more troubled America—award-winning author and screenwriter, Gabrielle Zevin, delivers a work that places her in the ranks of our shrewdest social observers and top literary talents.
 
Meet the Pomeroys: a church-going family living in a too-red house in a Texas college town. Roger, the patriarch, has impulsively gone back to school, only to find his future ambitions at odds with the temptations of the present. His wife, Georgia, tries to keep things afloat at home, but she’s been feeding the bill drawer with unopened envelopes for months and never manages to confront its swelling contents. In an attempt to climb out of the holes they’ve dug, Roger and Georgia make a series of choices that have catastrophic consequences for their three children—especially for Patsy, the youngest, who will spend most of her life fighting to overcome them. The Hole We’re In shines a spotlight on some of the most relevant issues of today: over-reliance on credit, gender and class politics, and the war in Iraq. But it is Zevin’s deft exploration of the fragile economy of family life that makes this a book for the ages.
 
“Blazing . . . Sharp . . . a Corrections for our recessionary times . . . [Zevin] establishes herself as an astute chronicler of the way we spend now.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
An addictive and moving debut about love, fidelity, sports, and growing up when you least expect it, told through the irresistible voices of three generations

It's the spring of 1994 in Cooperstown, New York, and Joanie Cole, the beloved matriarch of the Obermeyer family, has unexpectedly died in her sleep. Now, for the first time, three generations are living together under one roof and are quickly encroaching on one another's fragile orbits. Eighty-six-year-old Bob Cole is adrift in his daughter's house without his wife. Anne Obermeyer is increasingly suspicious of her husband, Hugh's, late nights and missed dinners, and Hugh, principal of the town's preschool, is terrified that a scandal at school will erupt and devastate his life. Fifteen-year-old tennis-team hopeful Julia is caught in a love triangle with Sam and Carl, her would-be teammates and two best friends, while her brother, Teddy, the star pitcher of Cooperstown High, will soon catch sight of something that will change his family forever.
At the heart of the Obermeyers' present-day tremors is the scandal of The Sex Cure, a thinly veiled roman à clef from the 1960s, which shook the small village of Cooperstown to the core. When Anne discovers a battered copy underneath her parents' old mattress, the Obermeyers cannot escape the family secrets that come rushing to the surface. With its heartbreaking insight into the messy imperfections of family, love, and growing up, Callie Wright's Love All is an irresistible comic story of coming-of-age—at any age.

Estranged from her family, Natasha is making a life for herself in Darwin when her sister calls with bad news. Their mother is ill, and has only a few months to live. Confused and conflicted, Natasha returns to the home she fled many years before. But her father, an evangelical Christian, has not changed –he is still the domineering yet magnetic man she ran from, and her sisters and mother are still in his thrall.

One night her father makes an astonishing announcement: he has received a message from God that his wife is to be healed, and they must hold a party to celebrate. As Natasha and her sisters prepare for the big event – and the miracle – she struggles to reconcile her family’s faith with her sense that they are pretending. Is she a traitor or the only one who can see the truth? And what use is truth anyway, in the face of death?

Taut, funny and poignant, The Healing Party is an electrifying debut novel about faith and lies, the spirit and the flesh.

‘A wild family drama, shot through with a furious, pure and grieving love.’ —Helen Garner

‘A compelling portrait of religious zealotry but also of true goodness. The portrait of the family is wonderfully realised, especially the mother, whom Lee has imbued with warmth and grace, and her own inner mystery.’ —Amanda Lohrey

‘Micheline Lee excels at drawing the ambiguities and frictions of familial connections: conflict, dislike and difference balanced by enduring love, which, in this family, is felt, but never expressed … Lee creates a memorable, almost tragi-comic portrait of an Asian-Australian family.’ —Books+Publishing

‘I couldn't stop till I finished. Horrifying and wonderful.’ —David Marr

‘The tenderness and exasperation with which the characters are drawn will ensure comparisons with Amy Tan … The Healing Party succeeds in the aim all novels share: it suggests new ways of seeing.’ —the Monthly

‘The Healing Party is part reality television and part an anthropological study of a strange foreign culture … [a] deceptively simple, disciplined work’ —Saturday Paper

‘Lee is an exceptionally talented writer … An impressive, unique Australian debut.’ —Readings Monthly

‘The combination of a family on high alert while dealing with terminal illness, cultural difference, blind faith, and grieving provides all the momentum and drama a reader could wish for.’ —Booktopia
An emotional, gritty family drama exploring the power of frustrated love and intense sibling rivalry - from the acclaimed author of ONE SUMMER and A WOMAN'S LIFE

One cool March morning in London, MP Leo Barr is told that his brother, Charlie, is dead. He has hanged himself from a chestnut tree in the grounds of a mental hospital. His family reacts in different ways. Charlie's mother, Imogen, sees no point in pretending that life is still worth living - he was always her favourite. Leo and his lawyer brother Roland fight, as they always have over Charlie. The fourth brother Ron, a Catholic priest, must break the news to Charlie's wife, presently in HMP Holloway.

In the days following Charlie's death the conflict builds among members of this diverse and complex family. Who really loves whom? What are the motives behind Roland's fixed antagonism towards Charlie? Is Leo right to put his career on the line? Above and between them all is the larger-than-life figure of Charlie. He follows no rules, not even about dying, and it becomes clear that his tragedy is only part of a web of mystery and deceit that connects them all.

As well as being a powerful human drama, LIES & LOYALTIES deals with gritty contemporary issues in today's Britain. It moves from parliament to prison, from church to mental hospital and from those who conduct the law to the outcasts of society. But at the heart of the novel is one family - divided by rivalry and frustrated love and forced, at last, to learn the truth about themselves.

Adam Finney, a young man who is mentally disabled, faces sterilization and lobotomy in a state-supported asylum. When he is found dead in the French Broad River of rural North Carolina, his teenaged stepsister, Jess, is sought for questioning by their family and the police. Jess’s odyssey of escape across four states leads into dark territories of life-and-death moral choices where compassion and grace offer faint illumination but few answers. A Question of Mercy, set in a vivid landscape of the mid-twentieth-century South, is the fifth novel from Robert Penn Warren Award–winning writer Elizabeth Cox. As she challenges notions of individual freedom and responsibility against a backdrop of questionable practices governing treatment of the mentally disabled, she also stretches the breadth and limitations of the human heart to love and to forgive. Jess Booker, on the run and alone, leaves the comfort of her home near Asheville, recklessly trekking through woods and hitchhiking her way to a boarding house in tiny Lula, Alabama, a perceived safe haven she once visited with her late mother. Pursued by a mysterious car with a faded “I Like Ike” sticker, Jess is also haunted by memories of her mother’s early death, her father’s distressing marriage to Adam’s mother, the loving bond she was able to form with Adam despite her initial resistance, and her boyfriend Sam’s troubling letters from the thick of combat in the Korean War. In Lula, Jess finds, if only briefly, a respite among a curious surrogate family of fellow displaced outsiders banded together under one roof, and there she finds the strength to heed the call homeward to face the questions she cannot answer about her stepbrother’s death. Through her vibrant depictions of characters in crisis and of the lush, natural landscapes of her southern settings, Cox brings to the fore the moral, ethical, and seemingly unnatural decisions people face when caring for society’s weakest members. Grappling with the powerful bonds of love and family, A Question of Mercy recognizes the countless ways people come to help one another and the poor choices they can make because of love—choices that challenge the boundaries of human decency and social justice but also choices that can defy what is legal in the course of seeking what is right. Jill McCorkle, a Dos Passos Prize–winning novelist and short story writer and the author of Life after Life, provides a foreword to the novel.
The profoundly different choices of a mother and her daughter infuse this rich, expansive novel with both intimate detail and wide resonance

When Joyce Stevenson is thirteen, her family moves to the south of England to live with their aunt Vera. Joyce's mother, Lil, is a widow; Vera has a husband who keeps his suits in the wardrobe but spends evenings at another house nearby. While the two sisters couldn't be more different-Vera, a teacher, has unquestioning belief in the powers of education and reason; Lil puts her faith in séances-they work together to form a tight-knit family.

Joyce sees that there is something missing in their lives: men. She doesn't want to end up like her aunt Vera, rejected by her husband. Joyce discovers art at school: she falls in love with the Impressionists and, eventually, with one of her teachers. In spite of the temptations of the sixties, she is determined to make her marriage and motherhood a success. When Joyce's daughter, Zoe, grows up and has a baby of her own, however, she proves to be impatient with domestic life and chooses a dramatically different path.

Spanning five decades of extraordinary changes in women's lives, Everything Will Be All Right explores the complicated relationships of a family. The young ones of each generation are sure that they can correct the mistakes of their parents; the truth, of course, is more opaque. Intricate and insightful, Everything Will Be All Right firmly establishes Tessa Hadley among the great contemporary observers of the human mind and heart.

Words without Borders Best Books of 2013, Coffin Factory Best Books of 2013, and World Literature Today Best Books of 2013.

"Ardent, salty, whimsical, steamy, absurd . . . A wallop to the reader."—Ploughshares

"Extremely moving."—Miami Sun Sentinel

"Zarhin has added his name to the luminaries of Israeli literature."—The Arts Fuse

"This thrilling, fresh, and surprising novel ought to draw the eyes of the literati back to Israel."—ForeWord Reviews

"Masterful . . . haunting . . . sublime . . . Zarhin's characters are so real they fairly jump off the page."—The Jerusalem Post

On the shores of Israel's Sea of Galilee lies the city of Tiberias, a place bursting with sexuality and longing for love. The air is saturated with smells of cooking and passion. Young Shlomi, who develops a remarkable culinary talent, has fallen for Ella, the strange neighbor with suicidal tendencies; his little brother Hilik obsessively collects words in a notebook. In the wild, selfish but magical grown-up world that swirls around them, a mother with a poet's soul mourns the deaths of literary giants while her handsome husband cheats on her both at home and abroad.
Some Day is a gripping family saga. Shemi Zarhin's hypnotic writing renders a painfully delicious vision of individual lives behind Israel's larger national story.

Shemi Zarhin, born in Tiberias in 1961, is a novelist, film director, and screenwriter who has created some of the most critically acclaimed and award-winning films in the history of Israeli cinema.

In his highly anticipated second novel, Judson Mitcham, with plain but elegant language, creates an emotional impact rivaled only by his critically acclaimed debut novel, The Sweet Everlasting (Georgia). Sabbath Creek is the story of Lewis Pope, a fourteen-year-old boy thrust into an adult world of heartache and brokenness. When his beautiful but distant mother takes him on an aimless journey through south Georgia, the cerebral and sensitive Lewis is forced to confront latent fears--scars left from the emotional abuse of an alcoholic father and the lack of comfort from a preoccupied mother--that crowd his interior world.

At the heart of the journey, and the novel itself, is Truman Stroud, the quick-witted, cantankerous owner of the crumbling Sabbath Creek Motor Court, where Lewis and his mother are stranded by car trouble. His budding friendship with the ninety-three-year-old black man is his only reprieve from the mysteries that haunt him. Despite his prickly personality and the considerable burden of his own personal tragedies, Stroud becomes the boy’s best hope for a father figure as he teaches Lewis the secrets of baseball and the secrets of life.

Sabbath Creek is more than a coming-of-age novel. And while Mitcham provides a nuanced look at the relationship between a white adolescent boy and a black old-timer, his second novel transcends the tired theme of race relations in the South. This compassionate, smart, powerful work of fiction touches the pulse of the human spirit. It travels from the ruined landscape of south Georgia and takes us all the way through the ruined landscape of a broken heart.

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Jernigan introduced David Gates as a novelist of the highest order. "Full of dark truths and biting humor,"  wrote Frederick Exley, "a brilliant novel [that] will be read for a long time."

After that blackly comic handbook of self-destruction--whose antihero shoulders up to such crucial American figures as Bellow's Herzog, Updike's Harry Angstrom, Heller's Bob Slocum, Percy's Binx Bolling and Irving's Garp--Gates's new novel investigates the essential truths of a marriage à la mode. Doug and Jean Willis fit the newly classic, recognizable and seemingly normal variety: struggling against a riptide of the daily commute, the mortgages, the latchkey child-rearing and the country house, as well as the hopes and desires from which all of this grew.

In accordance with their long-standing agreement, Doug embarks from their Westchester home on a leave of absence from the PR job that had ineluctably become his life, while Jean contends with both her own job and their two children. Over a two-month period he'll spruce up the family's alternative universe up north in rural Preston Falls; she'll deal with her end of the bargain, and her worries about the survival of the family. But then domesticity hits the brick wall of private longings and nightmarish twists of fate.

A surprising, comic, horrifying and always engrossing novel, charged with the responsibilities of middle age and with the abiding power of love, however disappointed--told with great artistry, pitch-perfect understanding and fierce compassion.

"A novel that's the funniest, sharpest, most strangely exciting book about men and women in a long time."
--Tom Prince, Maxim
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