Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Nuclear Family by Susanna Fogel

    • Nuclear Family by Susanna Fogel
    • To be published July 18, 2017
    • My copy is an uncorrected proof I received from the publisher through Library Thing's Early Readers program in return for an honest review.
      • Naturally my reviews are ALL honest though if I truly loathe a book I TRY to be as gently brutal as possible!
    • First novel by author

    • This is an epistolary novel, told entirely by letters and e-mails to the central character, Julie.
    • The chronology jumps around a bit, covering Julie's childhood up until she's in her 30s. Her parents divorced when she was a child and she has a younger sister with a wild streak.
    • Some of it is very funny. Julie's parents in particular are hilarious in their well-meaning advice and thinly veiled passive-aggressiveness.
    • Some of the letters are from inanimate objects such as a treadmill or a cell phone.
    • The subtitle is "A Tragicomic Novel in Letters".

    • I laughed out loud by page 10 due to this passage in a letter of invitation to teenage Julie from her aunt, which includes a list of house rules for guests:
      • "Please do not remove any body hair in the bathroom. If you must...please do so in the backyard, using the hose. Since we have been experiencing freezing temperatures this week please avoid getting water on the patio to prevent black ice."
    • From her grandmother who just got an e-mail account at her retirement home:
      • "They say it will allow us to spend more time with our loved ones. I don't buy it." 
    • I enjoyed the book but did feel it had a couple of unresolved storylines by the end.
      • I can't decide if it would have been better with Julie's end of the correspondence included. Probably not but it's a short book (just over 200 pages) and I guess I would have liked more.
      • I would definitely consider reading more from this author.
    • Recommended for those who enjoy comic novels, epistolary novels, and/or a quick read.
    • ★ ★ ★ ★

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