Genre anglais : Family

The Immortalists

Chloe Benjamin

Four children in New York City in the 1950s visit a fortune-teller who reveals to them seperately when they are going to die. Unfolds the story of their lives and how they live with this knowledge.

I finished this book in three days. What a thought-provoking novel! If one knew the date of one’s death, would one lead one’s life differently?

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow

silence_bonaventureRita Leganski

A magical debut novel from Rita Leganski, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is the tale of a mute boy whose gift of wondrous hearing reveals family secrets and forgotten voodoo lore, and exposes a murder that threatens the souls of those who love him.

The Taste of Apple Seeds

taste_apple_seedsKatharina Hagena

Lovely book about memory, loss, family, and love.
When Bertha dies, her grand-daughter Iris inherits the house and while deciding whether to keep it or not, she recalls her youthful holidays there and some of the joyous moments and the tragic events that took place. Through it all, we live through Bertha’s worsening dementia and discover family secrets, hidden loves and magical moments.
What I enjoyed most about the book were the descriptions of the house and its land, the garden, fruit trees and flowers, the love of gardening, of swimming naked in the lake, and the shear joy of Summer. The girls dress in lovely frocks that use to belong to their mothers and aunts. There is a sense of nostalgia that is quite palpable. One can smell the apples and the earth and see the house and the garden, and hear the rustling of the dresses.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

all_completely_beside_ourselvesKaren Joy Fowler

Rosemary Cooke is a little odd. But you would be too if you grew up in a family like hers. She comes from a loving family, but at the age of 5 her life is turned upside down. She tries to make sense of it, but what she remembers as an adult and what really happened sometimes does not coincide. While at College, she uncovers some of the truth when her estranged brother visits her. He is an animal rights activist and the FBI is after him. While they both share a traumatic past experience, he deals with it with action and she very passively, until she forgives herself and takes control.
This was a great read. There is a lot of humour and the author’s writing style is vivid and witty. The themes are family, relationships, animal rights, perception and memory, and the lasting impact of trauma on our lives.

Swimming Home

swimming_homeDeborah Levy

Swimming Home is a haunting and searing story of the destruction of a family while on vacation in the south of France. Each sentence of the tight prose is pregnant with meaning in this harsh, disquieting look at how desire can be costly especially where mental health issues come in play.

Tell it to the Trees

Tell_it_to_the_treesAnita Rau Badami

Chilling story about an Indian family in a remote part of Canada.

Varsha is a teenager. Her mother left the family because her husband, Vickram, was abusive. Vickram remarries with Suman, a woman he met when on a brief visit to India. They have a child, Hemnant, but the abuse doesn’t stop and Varsha will do anything in her power to keep the family together.

The Poisonwood Bible

poisonwood_bibleBarbara Kingsolver

The family of a fierce evangelical Baptist missionary–Nathan Price, his wife, and his four daughters–begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives forever transformed over the course of three decades by the political and social upheaval of Africa. [NoveList]

Sunset Park

sunsetparkPaul Auster
Fiction A934s

Miles Heller is a young man who is fleeing his past. Though he is an intelligent and educated person he works in menial jobs and has no ambition. In Florida, he meets and falls in love with Pilar, a seventeen year old high-school student. Pilar’s sister threatens Miles so he has no choice but to go back to New York and confront his past. He has not seen his father, step-mother, and mother for over seven years and finally contacts them and tries to come to terms with himself.

In the meantime he lives as a squatter in an abandoned house with 3 other young adults who are all struggling to find themselves and have little money. But just when things start to fall in place for Miles a tragic event will rock the foundation of his world once again.

Beautifully written and crafted book, seamlessly intertwining characters and plot lines to achieve an achingly moving and human work.