Become a Fan

Reviews I've Written

My Review Policy

  • Yahoo! Mother Board

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Blog powered by Typepad

« "If Today Be Sweet" by Thrity Umrigar | Main | Vent About Bad Endings »

June 11, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I read this book a few years back so my memory is a little sketchy, but I do recall feeling disappointed with the family as a whole. The situation in and of itself was very depressing but the handling of the daughter disturbed me. I felt as if her family had given up on her and that she had no real support.

It was not one of my faves and left me very sad afterward and I can usually deal with depressing subject matter.

Dani Shapiro

Hi there. Dani Shapiro here! I was procrastinating this morning--because the paperback of my most recent novel Black & White just came out so I'm keeping track of my books online--and came across this. I like your blog, Gayle. And was interested in your comments about Family History. It is indeed a disturbing book--it was disturbing to write! If you'd ever like me to answer questions I'd be happy to.

Nancy West

Hi Gayle and All,

How strange to think that the author is reading this blog! That makes me want to refrain from being critical -- I'm not out to hurt anyone's feelings. It was a well-told narrative; I just didn't find it all that memorable. Gayle, I mentioned earlier (probably in a repetitive way) that I simply think "Breaking Her Fall" is a better book on the same highly compelling theme: random events that threaten family implosion. How would you compare the two?

I did find a lot of the characters and situations interesting, like the upwardly mobile NYC friends and their night out on the town.

Now for my one quibble, which I'd be interested to hear both the author AND other readers weigh in on, except I'm not sure how to say it without generating a plot spoiler. Let me try it this way: At one point, Kate tells a therapist something. The next day, the whole town knows and the alleged perpetrator loses his job. The book sort of implies (or maybe one of the characters actually says -- it's been a couple of years since I read this book) "Oh, that's what small-town New England is like; gossip gets around fast"; but this is more like a suggestion that the therapist violated client confidentiality. And even in small-town New England, I think that's really unlikely in this day and age. It simply didn't ring true to me that a girl could tell her therapist something and the next day the whole town would know. (I live in a very small New England town myself, and I get defensive when our milieu is made to look backwoods in ways that we simply aren't. Professional confidentiality laws apply everywhere.)

Anyway, it's a very good novel. I'm glad I read it and I'm glad to be discussing it now with other readers...and the author!


The comments to this entry are closed.

I'm Done!