The novel chronicles the end of the bourgeois way of life as seen through the lives of the six Matthews children and their dysfuntional middle-class family. Their parents - Billy Pop and the Countess - are objects of ridicule to their children who vow never to make their mistakes.
Quentin, the eldest, is a socialist who adores women. His fervent views, however, become distilled over the years until he transforms into a cynical TV pundit. Gladys, plump and amenable, is unlucky in love and eventually falls for the charms of a crook. Rupert, the handsome actor, has a successful career until he fails to adapt to the changing theatre. Margaret is a brilliant and highly acclaimed novelist but she becomes bitter as her twin Sukey sinks into domestic bliss, while Marcus, the baby of the family, believes that his career is his life.
An ambitious and enriching novel No Laughing Matter is an extraordinary work in its depictions of complex family relationships, where it is just as easy to hate as to love and where everyone struggles to be an individual.
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.