Of course I've read approximately 192,438 books featuring dysfunctional families, so it has to be something special to make me sit up and take notice. This certainly did. The primary cast of characters - the aging mother and father; the adult daughter and her child; the adult brother, his wife, and their child - all react and remember when hateful patriarch Victor has a heart attack. Different POVs in all of the chapters and excellent use of flashbacks -- and flashforwards. The writing had a very particular rhythm that I found engrossing and Attenberg gave all of the family members their moment, along with these interludes that featured sometimes very ancillary characters (with a big payoff at the end). Themes of race, gender roles, and what love can and cannot forgive all featured heavily, as did - as almost a character itself - the beating heart of New Orleans. I truly liked everything about this extremely well-written book.

EljayJohnson's rating:
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