Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: A Perfectly Good Family by Lionel Shriver

A Tale of Inheritance

Corlis moves back to the South, after escaping from her family years ago to England, due to the death of her mother. She comes home to the old family mansion and a life she thought was behind her. What follows is a story about three siblings who are caught in an impossible triangle when the will reveals that the mansion is willed to the three of them, in addition to a bequest to the ACLU. With a 25% share each, siblings are forced to connect and form alliances if they want to keep that home. . . Corlis is placed back into a position that is a familiar pattern from her childhood - the middle child - forced to take sides, make alliances, and try to make everyone happy.

The book is about so much more than the home. It's "inheritance" in every way. . . it's a study of the baggage that every family has and the ingrained roles we each take on as we revert to the patterns of our childhood. As much as the three adults try to shuck off the legacy that their parents have provided them - in careers, interest, wealth, behaviors and hobbies - there comes a time when they have to face that they are a product of their own backgrounds.

I have to say that I did not find any of these characters extremley likable or felt sympathy for them until way into this book. However the whole thing was very intriguing and very well written. I may not have loved them but I understood them and their motivations. They seemed very "real".

I recommend this one!

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