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This family is the most chaotic bunch of narcissists to come along in some time. Yvette and Teddy, matriarch and patriarch, are devout Catholics on whom some of their childrens' antics are, fortunately, lost. Jamie is another centerpiece of the novel: funny, charming, libidinous slacker that he is, he is temporarily irresistible to everyone. Abby hits a bad patch in college after the death of her father and Jamie is there to console, and sleep with her. The impact of this event (eight events, really) results in a book, maybe fiction, maybe true, that eventually has the whole family on its respective and collective ear.
Abby's Aunt Margot, exemplary wife and mother, on automatic pilot for thirty years, suddenly leaves home to find a former lover. Clarissa might be a lesbian, she isn't sure. Abby, now happily ensconced with her former T.A., Peter, is lured to Argentina by Jamie to help care for his libertine fiancee's mother's adopted child. And, that's just a peek at what's going on. Convoluted? Yes, but it all works. Meloy can write the socks off most authors. She maintains an ironic distance from her characters in prose that you absolutely cannot stop reading until you find out every last detail. The whole shebang culminates in a Christmas celebration with everyone present. Not your ordinary singing-around-the-piano event. May the Santerres continue to thrive in Meloy's imagination! --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I purchased this novel after having read and much enjoyed a collection of her short stories, and the novel Liars and Saints. Read morePublished 15 months ago by swampknot
I love this author, but the only trouble is that she creates such wonderful (and often depressed) characters that when I finish her books, or even put them down for a day or two, I... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Christina Hager
A sign of a good book: You start out warming to the book, but you grow to love the book more and more and more as you go along. That's the case for me with this book. Read morePublished on December 10, 2011 by Debnance at Readerbuzz
This book was a decent book. It got to the point and went through things quick. Then about half way through things started slowing down and I couldn't help but wonder where the... Read morePublished on November 4, 2011 by J. Paschal
Get with it, people. Look past, beneath, and above the actual skin of these characters, and maybe then you'll realize the gem of a novel that has been placed into your palms. Read morePublished on July 20, 2011 by Montana86
It's best to read Meloy's earlier novel, "Liars and Saints" before reading "A Family Daughter" since the characters are the same in both, but their lives are played out... Read morePublished on April 19, 2010 by Charlotte Pen
I have read none of the author's previous work. I can find no redemptive value in this book; the characters are not developed, the dialogue feels ridiculous, and situations which... Read morePublished on March 7, 2010 by Galia
Too cheesy, risque in odd and uncomfortable ways, and tried too hard to be unexpected. Yawn and meh.Published on February 26, 2010 by quirky book lover
This is the story of a girl growing up in a loving, caring, dysfunctional and intermittently Catholic family. Read morePublished on January 24, 2010 by Cynthia