If, as Tolstoy posits, all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way, then the Goodyews would certainly rank highly in the toxic department. When British author Louise Dean’s fourth novel, THE OLD ROMANTICbegins, it’s almost too easy to sympathize with Nick, a bachelor barrister who’s persuaded to visit his nasty old dad after years of estrangement. As Dean’s comic novel of manner unfolds, however, the web of familial relationships become increasingly more complicated, and ultimately Dean appears to take a tolerant approach to family foibles.

March 5, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Family Matters, Humorous, United Kingdom, World Lit, y Award Winning Author


With her trademark wit and empathy, Schine pens another hilarious and affecting domestic comedy (THE THREE WEISSMANNS OF WESTPORT), using the ageless bones of Jane Austen’s SENSE AND SENSIBILITY as a template.

The story opens with 78-year-old Joseph Weissmann announcing to his wife of 48 years, Betty, that he wants a divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. “The name of Joe’s irreconcilable difference was Felicity, although Betty referred to her, pretending she could not remember the correct name, sometimes as Pleurisy, more often as Duplicity.”

April 11, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Humorous, NE & New York, Reading Guide

BEAT by Amy Boaz

Francis’s story is a familiar one – she’s a housewife who’s bored in her marriage, unfulfilled as a mother at home, and unsure of her own identity. She’s married to reliable, boring, regular Harry. They live in the suburbs of New York City with their two children, seven-year-old Cathy and three-year-old Bernie. The man she was once so attracted to when they married, has become chubby, clumsy, and pathetic in her eyes.

January 11, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: France, New York City, Thriller/Spy/Caper

WHILE I’M FALLING by Laura Moriarty

In Laura Moriarty’s WHILE I’M FALLING, after twenty-six years of marriage, Veronica Von Holten’s parents, Dan and Natalie, are getting a divorce. Although she is a twenty-year old pre-med student, when Veronica hears the news, she reverts to acting like the little girl she once was. She morosely observes: “My parents were married when Reagan was president, when the first Bush was president, when Clinton was president, and then the second Bush as well. They had planned vacations, funerals, and my sister’s wedding, together.” Why must they split up now after having stayed together for so long?

December 23, 2009 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Contemporary, Family Matters, Humorous