All posts tagged: family bonds

Emma Sloley talks about how it’s difficult for humans to escape their own nature, how Margaret Atwood influences, plus pastoral ideas and more in DISASTER’S CHILDREN

By Leslie Lindsay The deterioration of the natural world and a coming-of-age story set in the very near not-so-distant future.  In her prescient debut, DISASTER’S CHILDREN (Little A; November 5, 2019),  Emma Sloley seamlessly weaves together an apocalyptic novel with cultural commentary to producing a memorable narrative both searing and tender. Raised in a privileged community of ultra-wealthy survivalists on an idyllic, self-sustaining Oregon ranch, Marlo has always been insulated. The outside world, which the ranchers nickname “The Disaster,” is ravaged by environmental suffering and situated precariously on the brink of global catastrophe. There are stunning modern homes, clear skies and abundant flora. Everyone’s happy because they have a shared agreement to disengage from news and politics, abstaining from information and the internet, instead investing in the development of their own exclusive society. Can it outlast impending destruction in the world beyond? But Marlo has long been intrigued by the chaos and opportunity beyond the confines of her picturesque community,  fueled by occasional trips to major cities and correspondence with her two childhood best friends, who have …

Mary Beth Keane tackles mental illness, estrangement, family, and more in her searingly good family saga, ASK AGAIN YES, spanning generations

By Leslie Lindsay  What does it mean to forgive? That’s the overarching question of this blistering good family saga encompassing friendship, love, mental illness, violence, estrangement, and more. I love this book, ASK AGAIN, YES (Scribner, May 28 2019) by Mary Beth Keane, a stunningly ambitious novel of epic proportions, spanning the lives of two families over 40 years. Plus, oh, my gosh—that cover—which could be just about Anywhere, USA. Or Anywhere, Period. Mary Beth Keane is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and author of the highly acclaimed novels THE WALKING PEOPLE and FEVER (optioned for screen by Elisabeth Moss)—and also one I happened to love. In ASK AGAIN, YES, Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are rookie cops in the NYPD. They live outside the city in cozy suburban area in the 1970s where they’re married and starting young families. But—each home has different stories. There’s the Gleesons—fresh from Ireland and the Stanhopes with a bit of instability, grief, and more, setting fertile ground for an explosive neighborly connection. This is a …